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Nata-Gweta floods subside

CHAKALISA DUBE
Nata-Gweta area
FRANCISTOWN: The flood crisis in some parts of Nata, Gweta and surrounding areas is slowly subsiding, according to senior Government officials.

Gweta has been under siege from heavy floods over the last three weeks.

 The floods came as a result of a tropical storm cyclone, ‘Dineo’, which caused severe damage in various parts of the country.

In Nata, Gweta and surroundings the storm has affected 138 households. Some of the 138 households were displaced and families are currently housed in tents in several schools in the area.

“There is notable change at Gweta Primary Hospital. The flooding is getting better there (hospital) and in nearby areas. There is also a sign that the situation will improve very soon in some areas,” the District Commissioner of Tutume sub-district, Michael Chilimba said.

Chilimba is also the chairperson of the district disaster management committee. He said that boats are still being used to transport children to school.

Chilimba said that some Government officials are still camping in the Nata-Gweta areas in a bid to assist flood victims with food and other basics. The Government officials from the Tutume sub-district started

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their mission to assist the residents last Thursday.

Aid has also been coming from organisations that are not affiliated to Government. On Sunday, executive committee members of the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) visited the constituency and donated food and clothes.  

Apart from displacing some households the floods have also led to closure of roads. The most notable road is the A3 Nata-Zoroga road, which is used as a gateway to Maun. The road has been partially blocked by water.

Last Friday, Government issued a press release urging motorists to be cautious on the road.  The Government also said that the road may be temporarily closed if the situation does not improve.

The last time the swampy Nata-Gweta areas experienced severe flooding was over a decade ago.

There are also fears that the flooding situation in the area could fuel the outbreak of malaria. 

More than a week ago, a Botswana Defence Force helicopter airlifted a child who had contracted malaria to the hospital.



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