FLOODED ... Families in the infor- mal settlements at Katima Mulilo did not sleep on Friday after heavy rains flooded their homes. The most affected are residents of Cowboy extension 19, whom the town coun- cil considers illegal settlers.
INFORMAL settlements at Katima Mulilo were flooded by Friday morning's heavy rains.
Among those who are affected are Cowboy extension 19 residents, whom the town council claims are living there illegally.
Pasval Elijah, the assistant communications officer of the Katima Mulilo Town Council, said they had not allocated land to those people living in Cowboy extension 19.
“These people living in Cowboy extension 19 are land grabbers, who were badly affected by Friday morning's rain. The council has not come to an agreement on what to do with them in this regard. People should know that they are not supposed to grab land so as to avoid such situations; now their homes are flooded. How is the town council supposed to react since they are there illegally?”
Elijah said they have visited all the affected informal settlements, and will indeed assist the affected people.
“The council is willing to relocate these people whose houses are flooded if they are willing to move. We have a temporary relocation camp at Choto, where we provide tents for people to live in until the rainy season is over. So far, we have relocated three families there. We can also provide sand for some of the people who are affected by these floods to level the ground.”
Elijah noted that Choto and Cowboy are no longer considered as informal settlements.
“We would like to inform our community members that Choto and Cowboy are no longer informal settlements; these places are formalised. Therefore, we urge our community members to consider building permanent structures, especially those who can afford to do so. Community members should also inform the council about the pools of water in the road so that council brings sand to fill them.”
Elijah furthermore urged the government to assist the Katima Mulilo town council financially to get the much-needed services to the community.
“Our main problem in the town is the stormwater drainage system, and we need financial assistance from the government. We are very aware of the financial crisis in the government, but then we still plead with our government to look into this and assist us. The Katima Mulilo town council on its own is unable to do anything because of a lack of funds.”
The Namibian spoke to Ovens Simwanza, who said that his brother and family who live at Cowboy did not sleep since Friday at 02h00 when the rain started.
“I came to help my brother and his family to move out of their home as it was flooded. Everything inside the house is wet, but luckily they got a place to move to. This is the first time that the area has been flooded like this. It is so bad that we need assistance from the council.”
Luciano Tido, who lives in Cowboy extension 19, told The Namibian that they got the plot from the council.
“This plot was allocated to us by the council. I even have the papers to prove it, and we pay for water every month. As you can see for yourself, my house is surrounded by water. We did not sleep since the rain started; the water is coming up to my knees. I do not know where we will sleep tonight,” he stated.