A NUMBER of homestead owners who have been heavily affected by recent floods in the Oshana region are refusing to vacate their homesteads to places of safety.
Many are saying they cannot vacate their homesteads due to ancestral reasons and the fear of losing their valuables to theft.
Ongwediva constituency councillor Andreas Uutoni says about 50 homesteads in the constituency are heavily submerged in water.
“Most of the homesteads at Ongwediva are submerged in water, and it is hard to access most places. The water level keeps rising and the gravel roads have also been washed away. Most homestead owners are opting to be given individual tents to set up in their mahangu fields, because they don’t want to vacate their homesteads, and we cannot afford to provide everyone with a tent.
“We do not have the resources to cater for everyone. This is really bad. Water is all over the villages,” he says.
Uutoni says many elderly people are also unable to access hospitals due to the floodwaters surrounding their villages.
“This morning I was informed that there are about five senior citizens who are supposed to go for medical follow-ups at the hospital, but they are unable to cross the oshana to access healthcare services. This is a worrying situation, because we do not have anywhere to relocate them to,” he says.
He says many pupils are missing out on school activities as they cannot cross the water streams to access their schools.
So far the Oshana education directorate has closed down about five schools in the region which have been severely affected by the floods.
A total of 251 people have been relocated to places of safety in the region thus far