Birds and People No.26 June 2010

At present, Northern Botswana is abuzz with the return of the big Okavango floods! A combination of recharged groundwater from last year’s flood, good rainfall over the Delta this season, and a healthy inflow down the Okavango River, has resulted in floodwaters reaching areas that have been dry since the seventies. The front of the flood has already reached Maun, and it’s starting to get a little wet! The annual flood-pulse is the lifeblood of the Okavango, and is awaited with keen anticipation. However, the arrival of this year’s flood seems to be viewed with some ambivalence, depending on one’s circumstance. I am reminded of the apt quote from Paula Zucula, Head of the National Disaster Institute in Mocambique “In real terms, floods are good. They play a good role ecologically. What makes them disasters are vulnerable people”.

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