Theft of early warning system equipment harms communities: Schlettwein

OTJIWARONGO, 20 JAN- The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has expressed concern about the theft and vandalism of equipment used to monitor floods at its satellite stations along the Cuvelai Basin in the Omusati and Ohangwena regions. The ministry’s public relations officer, Jona Musheko in an interview with Nampa on Thursday said there are 26…

OTJIWARONGO, 20 JAN (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has expressed concern about the theft and vandalism of equipment used to monitor floods at its satellite stations along the Cuvelai Basin in the Omusati and Ohangwena regions.

The issue was initially raised by Agriculture Minister Calle Schlettwein, who on social media last week stated that several pieces of equipment at flood monitoring stations had been stolen or vandalised.

“The early warning system so very much needed for flood damage mitigation is now totally disabled. Such theft and vandalism may not be tolerated since it directly harms the communities that bear the risk of flood damage,” Schlettwein said.

The ministry’s public relations officer, Jona Musheko in an interview with Nampa on Thursday said there are 26 flood monitoring stations along the Cuvelai Basin, of which seven are not operational.

The ministry uses satellites to map out the extent of the floods, while the onsite equipment at the stations measure the depths of the floods.

Musheko noted that new equipment for a single flood monitoring station similar to the one at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West Region would cost the ministry over N.dollars 2 million to purchase and install.

“For now we are involving the community leaders to make them understand the purpose of the stations, and also for them to help us keep it safe,” he said.

(NAMPA)

MS/EK/AS

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