Poor planning leads to flooding at Ondangwa

Poor town planning has been fingered as the cause of flooding at the northern town.

21 January 2020 | Disasters

Ondangwa's Shinime Shiimvula Primary School and nearby houses have been flooded because of poor town planning.

The school is situated near a pond and because of uncoordinated housing development, floodwater cannot flow anywhere but into the school and nearby houses.

The town council is now pumping water from the pond to the nearest water channel.

According to a resident who did not want to be named, the pond used to drain into a nearby stream but the council allowed people to build houses in the watercourse.

“The school and some of our houses are situated near a pond that holds water flowing from higher ground. Usually, once the pond fills up, the water flows to a main water stream that draws water away.

“Unfortunately, the council allocated plots to people to build in the water channel that used to draw water to the main stream. Now, after good rainfall, water stands and floods our houses and school,” the resident said.

“All the council can do is to demolish those two houses in the watercourse and allow water to flow freely as usual.

This seems to be a rainy year and we do not know what more to expect.”

Council spokesperson Petrina Shitalangaho said officials have visited the school and surrounding areas and the council was pumping out water while finding ways to construct stormwater drainage.

“The council has constructed stormwater channels in that area. We are now just looking at possible ways to construct a stormwater channel that will be connected to others in the area to draw away that water.

“In the meantime, the council is pumping out water using a machine and it is quite helpful. The water level has reduced,” said Shitalangaho.

Shinime school principal Oscar Kashululu commended the council for its quick response.

“When the school opened, one part of the school was flooded and learners had no access to the toilets. We reported it to the council and they reacted quickly and water started reducing.

“However, there was a plan to construct a school hall on that part that was flooded. Now we do not know what the engineers will say, either to redo the plan or go ahead using other means. We are just waiting for them,” said Kashululu.

ILENI NANDJATO

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