Mmegi Online :: Nata/Gweta ravaged by floods again
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
Banners
Nata/Gweta ravaged by floods again

The recent heavy rains around the country have left behind a trail of destruction in the Nata/Gweta constituency once again.
By Chakalisa Dube Thu 01 Mar 2018, 14:10 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Nata/Gweta ravaged by floods again








In recent days, the constituency has been inundated by a near-storm surge of several centimetres above normal.

Yesterday Michael Chilimba the deputy district commissioner for the Tutume sub-district said that just like last year the rains have damaged some houses and uprooted trees in major parts of the constituency.

Homes in Gweta and Zoroga villages are completely submerged in the water.

“A notable number of homesteads (in Gweta and Zoroga) are situated in low-level areas.  Because of that (being situated in low level areas) they are submerged in water, which is why those occupying them had to be evacuated,” he said.

Chilimba said that the flooding is likely to worsen as a result of the overflowing Nata River.  The headwaters of the Nata River come from as far as Zimbabwe and drains into the Makagadikgadi Pans where the constituency lies.

Last year’s floods following cyclone Dineo, Edwin Mosimanyana, a hydrologist who is also a researcher at the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute said that Gweta-Zoroga is a serious flood zone.

In an article published by Mmegi Mosimanyana explained that the flooding is worsened by headwaters spilling into Makgadikgadi.

“Too much water from Makgadikgadi may have activated ancient river pathways that stopped flooding for ages something which would have been responsible for flooding Gweta and Zoroga,” he said then. 

In Gweta village Chilimba said that 112 households have been affected by the recent floods. “Those who reside in those households have been offered refuge at the village brigade. Gweta is the most affected area,” he said.

He further said that in Zoroga people living in 59 households have been evacuated and are currently housed at a primary school in the village.

At the time of going to press Gweta councillor, Galebaitse Serara said that figures of individuals from Gweta who have been given temporary shelter at the village brigade stood at 169.

Figures of the number of the affected individuals in Zoroga were yet to be quantified at press time.

Nine large tents have been availed to assist the people in Gweta.

“We are only providing shelter because the flood victims have brought their own food.  If there is need for us to provide food we will do so. We are assessing the situation,” Chilimba said.

Chilimba noted that only a few houses in Gweta and Zoroga have collapsed. According to him, the majority are just submerged in water.

Yesterday one of the flood victims, 37-year-old Gaodirelwe Morena said that their two (family) rooms have collapsed as a result of the floods. She added that the remaining two rooms are totally soaked in water.  

Gaodirelwe along with eight members are among those who have been given temporary shelter at Gweta brigade.  She said that the floods have destroyed most of the things the family had inside the two rooms that have collapsed.

“We were evacuated on Monday and since then our children have not been able to go to school as we are still trying to recover some of our assets in the two destroyed rooms. In addition, we have just moved things out of the remaining rooms (that were not destroyed) to save them from destruction.  We are also trying to emotionally recover from the recent incidents.”

She added: “Our daily lives have been disrupted because we depend on farming and menial jobs for survival”.

“We cannot do anything because of the floods,” Gaodirelwe bemoaned.

She emphasised that the government should find a permanent solution for the recurring floods.

“They have disrupted our lives over the years,” she said.

Lere Machilidza, 34, also suffered a near similar fate as Morena.  Machilidza whose family (including extended family) is made up of 13 members said that the children have also missed school in recent days as a result of the floods.

She said their family home is not accessible as it is extremely soaked up

Banners

in the water. The Machilidza family is also housed at Gweta brigade.

“We depend much on various farming activities.  As a result of the rains we have not been able to do anything.”

“We have not even fully recovered from last year’s floods, which destroyed most of our properties.  Government should urgently find ways to prevent flooding in the area.  If the government does not act swiftly and address the floods they will lead to loss of life,” she said, adding that the flooding in the Gweta area can be mitigated by a proper drainage system and very sound infrastructure such as roads.

Chilimba said that villages in the Nata/Gweta area such as Sepako and Mosetse have been affected, but not in the same magnitude as Gweta and Zoroga villages.

In the Tshwane-Malelejwe settlement near Sowa Town a sizeable number of households have been evacuated to the latter (Sowa Town Kgotla) as a result of the floods.

“Some of the people we have evacuated are pregnant women, as well as school-going children.  We wanted them to be able to access school and medication, which they get from Sowa,” Nata/Gweta Member of Parliament (MP), Polson Majaga said.

Majaga also said that there is still no indication that the flooding situation in Tshwane-Malelejwe will subside.

Still in Nata/Gweta close to 90 goats have died in Lepashe village as a result of the flooding.  Majaga said that the floods have also destroyed properties in Lepashe village but no one has been evacuated.

“I will be engaging various leaders in my constituency soon so that we can lobby the government to urgently start working on finding and implementing a lasting solution to the flooding situation in Nata/Gweta. The area has been troubled by floods for many years,” he said.

Early this week a South-bound Botswana Railways train carrying Soda Ash from BOTASH derailed near Lepashe as a result of the heavy rains and flooding in the area.

No one was injured in the incident, but Botswana Railway acting chief executive officer (CEO), Letlhogonolo Bantsi told Botswana Television that the cost of repairing damages associated with the incident would amount to millions of Pula that were yet to be quantified.

Another worrying factor is that the people of Nata/Gweta constituency would have to live with the fear of a possible Malaria outbreak because of stagnant water in their area.

“At the moment we have not recorded any case of Malaria, but we are ready to deal with any eventuality,” Chilimba said.

Last year several malaria cases were recorded as a result of the floods.

To make matters worse, the A3 road - one of the busiest roads in the country that passes through Francistown, Nata, Zoroga, Gweta to Maun -is the gateway to the country’s pristine tourism sites and is still closed. The road was closed last year after it was ravaged by cyclone Dineo.

Since around March last year people have been using alternative routes when travelling to Maun or nearby areas.  

Meanwhile, two children aged between three and five have died after they fell inside a pit that was full of water in Mathangwane village. Mathangwane falls under the Tutume sub-district though the area is not prone to floods.

“The pit is in a home that is currently under construction and does not have occupants. The pit was designed for the construction of a septic tank.  It was filled with water as a result of the recent heavy rains.

“The two children were playing inside the yard and accidentally fell inside the pit and eventually died,” Chilimba, who is also part of the disaster committee in the district, said.

The floods are also said to have affected areas such as Boteti and the Central district among others. Now boats and government vehicles have been roped in to transport students to school.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


News
Banners
Banners
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Wednesday 21 Nov - Wednesday 21 Nov :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Wednesday 21 Nov - Wednesday 21 Nov :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Wednesday 21 Nov - Wednesday 21 Nov :::
Selefu
Judges
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort