Efforts to bring piped water to villagers bear fruitBy: TANJA BAUSE
THE Manyana Community Water Project (MCWP) is an initiative started by Wynand Peypers of nKwazi Lodge about 20 kilometres east of Rundu to bring water from the nearby Kavango River to the Manyana community.
“Having a constant and steady supply of water at their homesteads will improve the lives of the people tremendously,” Peypers thought. The river is the only source of water for the community and they need to walk as far as three kilometres to get to the river.
The water is carried back to the homesteads in 25-litre containers, mostly by women and children.
Some of the homesteads are located in the floodplains, where they are flooded annually by the river. People also have small gardens which are currently dependent on rainwater.
The project aims to pump water using solar energy to a storage tank at a safe, convenient location, where the people will have easy access for themselves, their crops and their animals.
This will enable the Manyana community to become more self-sufficient and grow crops year round. The water supply will also encourage people to move out of the floodplains.
The project will cost about N$1,7 million and is divided into several phases. Phase one is already under construction. A jetty and pontoon which will carry the solar pump and the pipeline is under construction. The water will be pumped into a storage tank with a capacity of 150 000 litres near the house of the village headman. Durning the second phase, a pipeline will extend from the tank to the east and the west for about two kilometres. People will then have running water at their homesteads and should be able to cultivate more crops.
Eventually, with more financial aid, this pipeline can be extended to benefit other nearby communities.
“The government is building a fresh produce hub at Rundu and once we have water at our homesteads we the Manyana community can supply that hub with fresh produce and thus improve our lives,” says Joseph Mbamba of MCWP.
Donations for this project are made by the tourists who visit nKwazi Lodge, and are also sourced in England and Germany by Mike Hemming, who visited the lodge as a tourist in 2009 and became interested in the project.
So far about N$90 000 has been raised to get the project started. It is hoped that the project will be completed by the end of this year.