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TROUBLED WATERS: Thamalakane river

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Two drown in Thamalakane and Boro rivers

Police have confirmed the deaths of two men who lost their lives last weekend in separate drowning incidents that took place in Thamalakane and Boro rivers.

On Sunday a 23-year-old employee of Okavango River Safaris is said to have drowned in Thamalakane river behind Thito ward in Maun when he was trying to cross the river in a boat to inspect his employer’s house which is on the other side of the river.

Maun Police Station Commander, Chenamo Orateng, explained that the accident took place at around 04:00 hours on Sunday.

“What was reported to us is that he spent a night with his colleagues and in the morning he had to cross to the other house because the owners were not in and it was left under his care. They said soon after he left they heard him screaming for help and they suspect the boat capsized and he fell into the deep water,” Orateng explained.

The matter was immediately reported to the police and Botswana Defence Force scuba divers were deployed for the rescue albeit too late into the scene as the body was only retrieved a day later; Monday.

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A day earlier, another lifeless body of a Boro Prison warden was retrieved from Boro river.

He allegedly drowned on Saturday night while swimming with friends at a popular entertainment spot known as Boro beach.

According to the police, the matter was reported when it was already dark and the search was postponed for Sunday morning.

Meanwhile water levels in Thamalakane, Boro and Gomoti rivers have reportedly been rising steadily in the past few weeks.

The water source in Angola that feeds these rivers is said to have only received floods two weeks ago following a dry spell, hence the water that has been flowing into the North West district channels is attributed to local rainfall.

Maun Flood Arrival initiative, a group that monitors water flows into these streams have been recording a rise in water levels in the streams.

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Three weeks ago they recorded water levels at 75mm in Gomoti area and one Geoff Hartley commented: “Downstream of Tsutsubega is very full. Our levels in Gabamochaa are still rising but slower now and there is healthy flow into Thamalakane.”

Meanwhile Bojanala councillor, Luke Motlaleselelo, has also noticed the rising water levels and said villages in the delta are gradually getting submerged. “Access roads are closing up and very soon we will have to abandon cars and paddle boats to reach them.”

Recently water and sanitation department noted that even though Angola has received less rainfall this season, the water levels has slightly gone up due to a lot of rainfall in the area since November last year to date.

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