Angola and Namibia – Homes Damaged by Floods in Border Region

Long-term heavy rainfall has caused flooding in areas of southern Angola and across the border in Namibia.

Water flowing along rivers including the Cuvelai River in Angola flooding areas in the south of the province of Cunene from early January. Angola has seen bouts of heavy rainfall since early December 2022 and into January 2023.

Before the floods: the border areas between Namibia and Angola, 21 October 2022. Copernicus Sentinel 2 satellite. Image uses 4 False Colour Urban.
After the floods: the border areas between Namibia and Angola, 14 January 2023. Copernicus Sentinel 2 satellite image. Image uses 4 False Colour Urban.

Waters reached the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin around the second week in January. The Cuvelai-Etosha Basin is a wetland area shared by Angola and Namibia and covers almost 160,000 kmĀ².

Local officials from the province of Cunene reported flooding in the municipality of Cuvelai and the city of Ondjiva. Many schools are closed and some homes have been flooded in Ondjiva. Flooding has also affected areas of Namacunde.

Officials pointed out that floods in the region are usually welcomed in an area often affected by drought. Significant rainfall is rare in this region during the month of January. The heaviest rain usually falls in February and March. It was expected that flooding will therefore likely continue for the next 2 months.

In Namibia, water flowing from bordering areas of southern Angola caused flooding in the northern Ohangwena Region from mid-January 2023. As of 17 January 2023, local media reported dozens of homes were flooded in several villages including Engela and Ouhongo.