A severe storm that hit Okakarara in the Otjozondjupa Region on Sunday did not only cause significant damage to infrastructure but also left a 15-year-old girl traumatised after a near-death experience.

The nbc News team met up with Ndahafa Tjihuku, who sustained a broken leg and deep cuts on her back after being hit by bricks from a wall that collapsed.

Hours after a severe storm blew off the roof of her parents' house, partially damaging the walls and ceiling, Tjihuku is now using the aid of crutches to get by.

The victim's mother, Bersheba Zemburuka, described the experience as harrowing.

"We were at home. I had just come from work. The kids had been sitting out when the winds started. We all went inside the house. We noticed one of our children, aged 2, was asleep in the other room. Ndahafa shouted, 'Where is the child?'. She then ran to the bedroom to grab the baby, but immediately after picking up the child, the house walls started cracking and bricks fell off onto Ndahafa."

Chali Matengu, Cenored's Head of Communications, says damage caused to electrical poles is estimated at over N$200,000, but he is pleased that there is progress to fully restore the town's electricity.

"In terms of the cost estimate, we are currently running into N$250,000 or so. The thing is that as we replace them, we are discovering new poles that are actually broken. So we will continue with the exercise. The team will continue; tomorrow we will continue again, but so far progress is very good; we have covered more than 40% in terms of restoration. We just want to appeal to the residents to treat electricity as if it's on in areas that are not yet energised because there will be no notice that electricity is coming back."

Some classroom blocks at Okakarara Primary School were also damaged, and Constituency Councillor Ramana Mutjavikua provided an update, saying schooling will not be interrupted as tents will be provided for that purpose.

"The advance team is already busy doing the assessment. We made sure that we allocated some tents that we will use to host some of the classes by tomorrow morning; those will be arriving either today or tomorrow morning. We also informed the Red Cross of Namibia of the general condition or situation we are going through. If possible, the Red Cross might come to our assistance to provide tents for ordinary citizens."

By Tuesday afternoon, nbc News was informed that electricity at the town's state hospital, police station, vocational centre, and businesses had been restored, while the town's water reservoir was gradually filling up.

Residential areas are being reconnected in phases.



Faith Sankwasa