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Flood affects more than 27,000 students in Namibia

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- A total number of 27,000 students and 102 schools in Namibia’s north and north-east regions are affected by floods, said Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on Tuesday in the National Assembly.

According to Hanse-Himarwa, Omusati region has the highest number of schools (73) affected by the floods followed by 11 schools in Ohangwena region and about 10 schools in Oshana region.

The prevailing floods have also negatively impacted on the education sector with buildings especially ablution facilities were submerged as most have been damaged and will require renovations.

“Funds are limited and the Ministry is challenged to be able to meet the needs as requested by the regions. In most extreme cases the Ministry is left with no other option but to close the schools while continuing to provide basic needs to the learners such as tents and other facilities,” said Hanse-Himarwa.

Meanwhile, although no schools have been closed yet in the Zambezi region, the region is considered the most affected region. The current level of the Zambezi River has reached 6.5 meters, which is considered a disaster to the education sector.

In the meantime, to address and mitigate the impact on education provision, the Ministry has developed regional contingency plans mostly in the flood prone areas and this has helped the ministry to some extent and use the contingency plans to lobby for funds within the Ministry’s budget and buy tents which are used during the times of flooding.

However, in the case of Zambezi region, where flood has just started making impact, according to Hanse-Himarwa, the Ministry will close the schools affected and carry out an assessment after three weeks in order to allow these schools to use the existing schools in the upper land to continue with classes during school holiday.

Hanse-Himarwa said that the ministry will conduct a full assessment of the impact of floods and will mobilize resources from stakeholders and strategic partners.


China hands over 4,000 tonnes of rice to Namibia

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday officially handed over 4,000 metric tonnes of rice to Namibia in Windhoek as part of assistance towards drought relief.

The handover was officiated by visiting Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Ming and Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the drought in Namibia left more than 595,000 people directly or indirectly affected and President Hage Geingob had declared the drought a national emergency.

“This donation we are witnessing is in fact a symbolic one as the large quantity of food is already delivered to the regions and the intended beneficiaries, which is the purpose of the donation,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Namibia’s resilience could be strengthened through international cooperation, such as with agricultural projects, and Namibia could learn from Chinese expertise in order to become self-sustainable in food security.


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