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Zambezi level nearly at 5m
February 9, 2007
Zambezi level nearly at 5m


THE Caprivi Regional Council is monitoring the rising water level of the Zambezi River continuously, as it is expected to reach the five-metre mark over the next few days.

Regional Governor Bernard Sibalatani has visited various areas of the Caprivi to assess the situation and to persuade residents to move to higher ground.

"The Zambezi floodplains at the eastern border to Zambia have reached Schuckmannsburg, which is now surrounded by water and cannot be reached by car," Sibalatani told The Namibian from Katima Mulilo yesterday.

"This is an annual occurrence for that area, but we receive daily reports so that we know what is going on.

Some children are already making use of mukoros [dugout canoes] as transport to reach schools," he added.

The Governor chairs the Regional Emergency Unit (Remu), which includes representatives of the Namibia Defence Force and the Namibia Red Cross Society.

"The Remu teams are in the field to raise awareness among the population as the Zambezi level rises," Sibalatani said.

"We ask the rural communities to voluntary move higher up to avoid loss of livestock and of their household possessions."

His office is also co-operating with local radio services to inform communities, should water levels reach a critical stage.

According to Guido van Langenhove, Deputy Director of Hydrology in the Agriculture Ministry, the Zambezi will level off around five metres for about 10 days, rising to about six metres towards the end of this month.

"This is what our colleagues in Zambia have told us, as they expect more rains in western Zambia," Van Langenhove told The Namibian yesterday.

"The same time a year ago, the Zambezi was not even two metres high, so the river's higher water levels are about five weeks earlier than usual," he added.

During the widespread floods of 2004, the Zambezi passed the seven-metre mark.

The Cuando river near Kongola is also rising slowly but not at an alarming rate, a lodge manager has said.

" Here at Lianshulu Lodge the Cuando level is normal for this time of the year, but further south close to Sangwali and the Mamili National Park, where the Cuando meets the Linyanti, some areas are flooded," the lodge manager told The Namibian


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