We Need a Bigger Boat

Road Near Oshakati (source: namibian.com.na)

In response to the literally single email I have received asking about my wellbeing as Namibia declares a state of emergency because of flooding: I’m fine thanks.

The heaviest rainy season in 15 years has caused severe flooding throughout much of the north of the country with rivers bursting their banks, roads washed away and many villages and homesteads cut off.

The Government has declared a state of emergency and is mobilising to help those affected. From our point-of-view in the Kunene Region the Kunene River has burst its banks along large stretches and we face the ever-present risk of another Cholera outbreak.

Peace Corps have evacuated a number of their volunteers from placements and VSO are thinking about putting their disaster plan (plan GLGB *) into action.

More information:

I myself managed to get stuck in a river in the capital Windhoek after someone had helpfully removed all the road closed signs but am pretty insulated from the worst of it being in Opuwo which is a long way from any rivers.

With the rains predicted to continue now into May it’s likely to get a lot worse before things start to get better.

This does somewhat vindicate that vol who went mad and was last seen building an Ark in the hills near Angola. Doesn’t excuse the eating of their own feces though.

* Plan GLGB:

GLGB is, or rather was, the official VSO disaster response plan. It stands for “Good Luck, God Bless” and is famously the last phrase usually said to volunteers by VSO staff as they’re evacuated by helicopter from the floods/fires/civil wars kicking wildly at the hands of volunteers clinging desperately to the landing skids.

This has evolved over the years from “Don’t let them take you alive!” and “Wait until you see the whites of their eyes!“.

Technically following a diversity review the phrase is now “Good Luck, God Bless if you believe in such things, or Deity bless, or Deities bless, or not, or Richard Dawkins bless or indeed no blessings, whatever” but that’s a bit of a mouthful.

 

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