Ehenye floods again

Homeowners at the Mass Housing Ehenye township have had it with what they describe as the bad planning and ignorance of the Oskahati Town Council.

02 January 2018 | Infrastructure

Good rains have fallen in the northern parts of the country and while this has been welcomed, the residents of the Ehenye township at Oshakati, are fed up with annual flooding.

The development, constructed through the government's Mass Housing scheme, has been plagued with floods every time good rainfall is received. During last season, many residents were stranded on the 'mini islands' inside their homes, with their erven flooded.

Namibian Sun visited Ehenye and found flooded yards with many residents not able to move in and out of their homes. The bone of contention is the fact that the houses are constructed on higher ground creating mini islands when the rain falls and causing the structures to be surrounded by floodwater.

This situation has forced many homeowners to purchase sand from private companies in order for them to manoeuvre in and out of their properties.

They say this is a costly exercise as they are expected to fork out huge amounts of money to buy sand when the rains come, something which should have been considered during the construction phase.

The residents that spoke to Namibian Sun blamed the governwment through the Oshakati Town Council for not fulfilling all its obligations when it handed the houses over to them.

They argue that during the course of last year after the rainy season, they expected council to do something and address the issue which they blame on ignorance and a lack of town planning.

“When council saw last year we had a problem with water they could have done something during the winter but now they have left us with the same situation and mind you, the rainy season is still ahead,” one of the homeowners argued.

“We are now in January and you know this is one of the difficult months when it comes to finances as we have a lot of expenses such as ensuring our children have all their materials for school. Now we are forced to use our savings to buy sand which is not good,” she further argued.

The homeowners pointed out that as much as they wanted a house to live in and raise their family, some challenges such as the flooding of houses is creating an unnecessary burden.

They called on the town council to take action.

Pools of water have also been observed around the town of Oshakati in the various informal settlements; some houses at Ekuku township have been affected as well as the pools of water at the recently serviced erven at the various Ehenye extensions where houses are yet to be constructed.

When contacted for comment, Oshakati mayor Angelus Iyambo said they are aware of the situation.

He pointed out that the homeowners should meet council halfway in terms of addressing the water issue, calling on those who can afford to buy sand to do it.

Iyambo further said that the economic situation in the country is not good and thus, council cannot assist everyone, only those who are in dire need.

“We are aware of the situation and like last year we helped some people who really had no other alternative and we will continue doing so. If the situation is severe, we will step in. We must learn how to work together,” Iyambo said.

Regarding a long lasting solution to the flooding issue, Iyambo said the availability of funds plays a role and currently, funds are limited.

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