Severe weather damages 30 houses at Omatjete

10 Jan 2016 14:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 10 JAN (NAMPA) – Severe weather left 31 houses without roofs in the Omatjete area recently, affecting nearly 100 people.
Omatjete is located 60 kilometres north-west of Omaruru in the Erongo Region.
Fabianus Hivirikee Uaseuapuani, the chairperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, under which Omatjete falls, told Nampa on Sunday rain, accompanied by strong winds, was experienced in the area for three consecutive days in the last week of December.
Three villages were affected – Ovihitua, where the roofs of 15 houses were blown off; Otjozondjou, where 10 roofs were damaged; and Omataazu, where six roofs were damaged.
The drought-stricken area received 40 millimetres of rain over the three days.
“It is a terrifying situation. In the past 49 years that I have been here, I have never experienced a year as bad as this. The animals are dying from the drought and now the rain comes with wind and leaves people homeless,” Uaseuapuani said.
He said most of the homeowners have however managed to replace their roofs.
Gerson Kandanda, who runs Kuvonjo shebeen at the Omatjete settlement, said his roof was blown off too. He managed to replace it two days later, but said some people are still struggling to fix their roofs as they cannot afford to do so.
A report on the damage plus building materials needed will be submitted to the Erongo Regional Council by the Zeraeua Traditional Authority this week.
This is to seek assistance for those who cannot fix or replace their roofs on their own.
Meanwhile, Uaseuapuani noted that the rain did little to ease the drought situation. More animals also died as they became weak after the rains.
The traditional authority chairperson said members of the Omatjete community, who make a living from farming with cattle, goats and sheep, are worried that they could lose all their livestock if things do not improve.
“As we speak, we do not have water in the dams because it was not normal rainfall, it was very windy. We hope to receive proper rain soon. It is very hot and there are no clouds to be seen,” he said.