"Floodwaters Rising Across Southern Africa"

"WINDHOEK -- As South Africa declares a national disaster due to flooding, other countries in the region hold their breath while water levels continue to rise.

With dozens dead and damages exceeding $50 million across eight of its nine provinces, South Africa is experiencing its heaviest floods in years. The Orange River, which runs 2,300 kilometres from Lesotho east to the Atlantic Ocean at the Namibian-South African, has reached its highest level in decades.

'The floods are earlier than previous years,' says Maria Amakali, Namibia’s Director of Water Resource Management who sits on the the Orange-Senqu River Commission. 'Irrigation schemes on the border are flooded, lodges are under water and some small communities are flooded to the point they don’t have drinking water, because the water treatment plants are submerged.'"

Servaas van den Bosch reports for Inter Press Service January 20, 2011.

Source: IPS, 01/21/2011