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Rugby World Cup 2015
The Namibian
Tue 7 Jul 2015
 *A N$5000 cash prize for Chef of the Year. Very small amount for a big title. Increase the prize money.
 *NATIS! The skewed supply/demand situation is fast becoming a crisis. Please balance the situation and provide more testing centres across the country.
 *GOVERNMENT, why is it that our pension is so late every month? We are old and suffer enough. Please correct this.
 *CIVIL society and business need to investigate the tariff increases by the City of Windhoek. If found too expensive and illegal, they must be taken to court.
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FRONT PAGE | 2010-01-07
Lake Oponona a lifeline in the North
ABSALOM SHIGWEDHA
MANY tourists to the north-central parts of Namibia are mainly heading to well-known sites such as the Nakambale Museum at Olukonda, Lake Oshikoto or the Ruacana Falls on the Kunene River.
However, it is not always these sites that will leave the strongest impression on those who visit northern Namibia.
About 60 km south of Oshakati lies a massive lake called Oponona, the largest water body in the Cuvelai drainage system.
Travellers trying to drive around the lake over the festive season gave up because it is so huge.
While Tanzania's much-talked-about Lake Natron and Lake Manyara had already dried up by October 2009, Lake Oponona is still full of water from last season's rainfall, with a lot of migratory water birds creating an unforgettable tourist attraction.
Government, with the support of the local traditional leaders, has banned fishing with nets in Lake Oponona as this could lead to over-utilisation of the lake.
Local people still catch fish with lines, though.
When The Namibian visited the lake on a surprisingly cold December morning, a man was in the cold water fishing and sold the reporter two big fish for N$10.
Knob-billed ducks and Cape teals were enjoying a swim on the lake, while grey herons and egrets were feeding on the lake's eastern shores.
'This lake has the potential of attracting tourists to this area,' local cattle herder Absalom Shaanika said.
Lake Oponona is a good site for bird watching, recreational fishing and water sports. Because the lake holds water for a long time, flamingos and other water birds migrate there when oshanas, swamps and other wetlands dry up.
The lake is of critical importance to the local population, who depend on subsistence farming and fishing.
Tourists could also visit nearby cattle posts and see cattle herders milking cows and making butter the traditional way.
Local storyteller Alweendo lwIitenge, also known as Mbezi Nkwaya, lives just a stone's throw from the lake. Visiting him would be a good opportunity for visitors to hear about the history of the lake and surrounding areas.
Nkawaya is the first Headman of Oponona, as he was one of the first people to put up a homestead there decades ago.
The biggest environmental problem at Lake Oponona is illegal fishing and hunting of water birds for meat.
Evaristo Nghilai, a conservation scientist in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism based at Ongwediva, says it is difficult to prevent people from fishing illegally in the lake, as some do it at night and the long distance on a sandy road to the lake is hampering the Ministry's efforts.
Situated about 70 km north of the Etosha National Park, Lake Oponona is the source of the Ekuma River, which intermittently flows into the park's Etosha Pan, sustaining the animals that congregate there.

         


IJG Daily Bulletin

A product of CEIT Development Namibia