Lusese gets flood relief centre

29 November 2019 | Local News

The Lusese Conservancy in the Zambezi Region has received funding of N$4.4 million to develop a flood relief centre that will benefit 40 000 people.

The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) under the auspices of the environment ministry recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.

The centre, which will temporarily house people displaced by flooding, will also reduce their exposure to climate risks.

The facility will be constructed under the Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate-Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resource in Namibia (CBNRM EDA) project.

The project aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities in the eastern floodplains of the Zambezi Region.

The project will benefit 40 000 people and 11 villages during floods. A total of 44 jobs will be created, of which 24 will be for women.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony this week, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said flood management as identified by the Lusese Conservancy would greatly aid in flood relief.

He said the existing flood relief facilities pose health and sanitation risks. The infrastructure to be established at the Lusese village will ensure improved health for children and pregnant women, improved sanitation, and clean and reliable water sources, said Shifeta.

“The materials for the structures will be locally sourced, which ensures efficiency and effectiveness and contribution to the local economy as money used to procure materials will stay within the Namibian economy.”

According to him the provision of a boat for use during flood events should ensure that the communities are transported and moved to higher ground in a timely fashion. He said that inclusion of the early warning system in the project design will also enhance synergy for climate change preparedness and adaptation.

The materials for the structures will be locally sourced to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Shifeta said this project is evidence of the Lusese community's unity, commitment and hard work and is proof of local level transformation towards increasing resilience of these communities living in the CBNRM area for climate change adaptation.

He said that the eastern floodplains of the Zambezi Region have been prone to severe flooding due to climate variability and this is worsened by the topography of the areas resulting in significant river discharge to the lowland areas.

According to him these recurrent flooding events often result in significant damage to public and private assets and these have environmental, social and financial repercussions.

“I am grateful to note that this intervention with the involvement of the key stakeholders will serve to provide relief towards adapting to the flooding episodes. The project will also complement the government programmes for addressing climate-change-induced flooding.”

Shifeta further expressed his gratitude towards the Green Climate Fund Board for approving the project funding proposal in October 2016.

He said funding of N$130 million was granted through the CBNRM EDA Project Grant Facility.

“To the Lusese Conservancy Management Committee, please implement this project with the seriousness that it deserves. Ensure sound financial accountability at all times.”

Shifeta concluded by saying cognisance should be taken of the fact that this EDA funding that the EIF has secured for Namibia is so far the first grant that the GCF has awarded under the EDA modality globally.


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