Drownings sour rain relief

Two children and a Chinese national have drowned while swimming in the north following good rains in the north.

23 October 2019 | Accidents

Life-giving rainfall in the north has led to two schoolboys drowning in Oshana on Monday.

A Chinese national also drowned on Sunday at the Olushandja/Etaka Dam in Omusati Region.

Bernhard Bernhard (13), a Grade 7 learner at Oikango Combined School, and Thomas Nadhipite Hako (11), a Grade 4 learner at Olulongo Combined School, drowned in separate incidents while swimming in earthen dams.

Their bodies were recovered by a team of police divers yesterday.

On Sunday and Monday many areas in the north received good rainfall, which filled catchment areas.

Many young boys have been seen playing in and around the oshanas.

Bernhard and two other school learners were on their way home from school when he drowned, while Hako was on his way home from Omusati-Gwopoosa location where he was sent by his grandmother.

When they approached the Kapunda earthen dam at Ohakweenyanga village, Bernhard told his two friends that he wanted to cool off.

He then jumped into water and started swimming, but soon started struggling. His friends failed in their rescue attempt.

His two friends ran about two kilometres to report what had happened to Bernhard's mother Klementina Kweenda, who was conducting business at Adolfi location.

The police were then informed.

“The incident happened around 15:00.

When he started drowning, the two fellow learners tried to rescue him, but they failed. Divers from the special reserve force were at the scene, but could not recover the body (on Monday). They returned yesterday and his body was recovered,” the police said.

While divers were searching for Bernhard's body on Monday, at a report came in that Hako had drowned at Omaalala, which is about 10 kilometres from Ohakweenyanga.

The divers then left for Omaalala.

After school, Hako was sent by his grandmother Elly Shipanga to Omusati-Gwopoosa location to get pig feed together with another boy.

On his way home, he found other children swimming in the earthen dam.

“When he started drowning the other boys tried to assist but they failed. The other boy that was sent with him ran home to report what had happened.

“We went to the scene and called the police. Were shocked to hear that the police were also searching for another drowned child at the nearby village of Ohakweenyanga,” said Shipanga.

“Police divers were at the scene, but they could not search for his body because it was late. It was on recovered yesterday morning,” the police said.

Addressing community members at the two dams, Ongwediva police station commander, Chief Inspector Elizabeth Nashandi, urged community members to tell their children not to play in the water.

“As we can see, after good rainfall, all the water catchments are full of water and wherever you are going you will see children playing in the water. Please let us tell them about the danger of water so that we can avoid similar incidents from happening,” Nashandi added.

Other incidents

On Sunday, Chinese national Li Kaiwei (20), who was employed at a shop at Outapi, drowned at the Olushandja/Etaka dam. Kaiwei, who is originally from Fujian province in China, was swimming with other Chinese nationals when the incident happened.

The Omahenene police have opened an inquest docket.

Last Thursday, one-year-old Isabel Ndashitika drowned in a tombo container at Onawa location at Oshakati.

According to the police report, Ndashitika was found in a tombo container by her mother. No foul play is suspected.


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