Ver Angola


Cunene province with “unusual” floods but phenomenon “benefits” rural populations

The government of the province of Cunene considered this Thursday the floods that are taking place in the region to be “unusual”, admitting an increase in rains and “worse situations” in the next two months, but noted that the phenomenon also brings “benefits” to rural populations .


"The province is really benefiting from abundant and upstream rains in the north and east of the province, there it is raining a lot and it caused the flood water to leave the municipality of Cuvelai and overflow from the north to the south and caused the floods reached the city of Ondjiva, capital of the province", said this Thursday the deputy governor of the province Apolo Ndinoulenga.

Speaking to Lusa, the official recognized that the heavy rains in the region, in January, "are not a common phenomenon, because the most abundant rains, normally, have been in the months of February and March".

"In this context, the chanas [plains] are full, they are even unusual floods, and we are now taking care of ourselves for the next two months where more precipitation has been registered at the level of the rainy season", he said.

"If now the floods are of these proportions, we think that with the increase in rainfall in these two months we could have worse situations, but, personally, I think that we cannot look at the floods in a negative perspective", he stressed.

The official pointed out that "the floods benefit more than they harm, this is traditionally known".

For the deputy governor of Cunene for the Political, Social and Economic sector, the local authorities are not seeing huge losses now, admitting, however, that many schools in the province are "closed and besieged" as a result of the floods.

Cunene province, in the south of Angola, which has been affected by drought in recent years, has seen heavy rains in recent days, which have contributed to the flooding of chanas and various parts of the district, including its capital, Ondijva.

Apolo Ndinoulenga also explained that the city of Ondjiva is located above the watershed of the Cuvelai river, whose water table sometimes "comes to the surface, often causing floods".

"There are cases in which some houses are flooded by water that is coming out of the ground upwards, it is this negative component that we can mention, and this issue of Ondjiva has already deserved special attention from our executive", he stressed.

According to the official, the capital of Cunene is not affected so much by water flowing over the earth's surface, "but mainly due to the water table existing there, because dikes were built to protect the city that divert water".

"The only problem is with the water table which is always saturated and takes the water to the surface, this sometimes causes flooding in backyards, in houses, and so this is the negative aspect", he admitted.

An Angolan non-governmental organization criticized this Thursday what it said was "palliative work" by the authorities in response to the floods in Cunene province, due to the rains, regretting that many children are prevented from attending classes.

"It is true that at the moment there are floods and that they have many implications, one of them is the classes, because when the chanas are full, children stop going to school because they cannot cross the chanas", said this Thursday to Lusa Father Gaudêncio Félix Yakuleinge.

Furthermore, "even when it rains, classes are impossible, because many children study under trees", stressed the head of Associação Ame Naame Omunu, a local NGO promoting human rights.

The deputy governor of Cunene also assured that local authorities are making efforts to respond to the consequences of the rains, noting that palliative measures, such as drainage ditches to evacuate water, will be complemented later with an integrated project.

The provincial government has in its portfolio a project called "Integrated Infrastructure Project of the City of Ondjiva" awaiting central approval.

He pointed out that, as soon as the referred project is approved, it will be possible to respond to the problem in the capital.

"And we always welcome floods, because with these floods, the lack of water in rural areas ends", he commented.

"For example, this year nothing prevents us from saying that we will not have a lack of water in rural areas because the chimpacas [water reservoirs] are full, the water level will also be saturated and people will make traditional excavations to be able to find water for its consumption and the animals", he believes.

"So, we are classifying the beginning as a good year, taking into account that the water is passing even in places where it did not rain a lot. We hope that the rain will continue to fall to facilitate the work in the fields, for the population to have water and food", he insisted.

He acknowledged that the floods contributed to the stoppage of classes in many schools, "besieged by the floods, where not even teachers and students can reach", considering that these were temporary consequences.

Regarding the waters that flow through the municipality of Namacunde to the Republic of Namibia, Apolo Ndinoulenga minimized this natural route of water, recalling that Angola shares the chanas and the Cunene river with the neighboring country.

"But also the relief of Cunene, through which the water passes, is the same relief that is in the Republic of Namibia (...). There is no neighborhood problem, because this is a natural phenomenon and they know that whoever pushes the waters there are not the Angolans, but nature", concluded the minister.


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