OSHAKATI, 04 APR – Villagers in northern Namibia are cashing in on the limited benefits of the annual seasonal flash floods, known as efundja, amid fears of destruction the flood wave is expected to bring.
Although the efundja is yet to fully dawn on the country, repeated good rainfall received in the northern regions and southern Angola has brought along “Kapenta”.
Villagers frequently descend on the Onashiku village, located some 20 kilometres north of Oshakati, where they catch fresh kapenta, a local fish delicacy from the water canal that is also fed by rain from southern Angola.
The area was a hive of activity during the Easter weekend, as families rushed to the village to catch the small fresh water fish of not more than 5 centimetres long, which they in turn sold to passing motorists.
Erwin Aupa is one fisherman who frequent the area, along with his children, to cash in on the sought-after delicacy.
He told Nampa on Saturday that he makes up to N.dollars 300 on a good day, leaving the area with N.dollars 150 on a slow day.
Aupa uses large nets, which he drops into the canal against the flow of water, allowing the kapenta to swim straight into the nets. He would keep the nets in the water for close to half-an-hour before hauling them out.
“We remove the kapenta from the nets and place them on these mats (to dry), then we remove worms and other unwanted by-catches from them. The kapenta is ready for sale in less than 10 minutes after leaving the water,” he narrated.
Emma Nangolo, who also fishes in the area, said she uses the proceeds from the kapenta sales to feed her child, while she too consumes some of the catch.
Originally from nearby Nepungu village, Nangolo said the area is already a hive of activity by 07h00 as fishermen start dropping their nets, and that would be the order of the day until around 18h00 when the last customers have left.
The efundja is known for destroying property and homes, often displacing villagers.
Government officials have already issued warnings to residents in the area to exercise caution and prepare for a possible arrival of efundja, as more heavy rain is reported to have fallen in southern Angola.
Omusati Regional Councillor for the Okalongo Constituency, Laurentius Iipinge last week warned people of his constituency, especially those at Onandjaba settlement, to vacate their areas before flood-prone sites are submerged.