Oshikoto water woes receiving Govt attention

…as water challenges persist

With water challenges having plagued the Oshikoto region for years, due to either low pressure or water which is unfit for human and animal consumption, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform says the matter is receiving attention.

Potable water in the region has for many years been a dream for residents in areas such as the Okankolo, Eengodi and Nehale Lya Mpingana constituencies.

Residents travel long distances to collect water, with many surviving on boreholes and drinking unsafe water. Some schools have previously been closed due to a lack of water.

Despite this, the government says it has made efforts to drill boreholes in some areas.

Some residents, however, claim that water is salty and unfit for consumption.

Speaking to The Namibian on Thursday, ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko said the ministry is aware of the water challenges in the region and sympathises with the affected communities.

He said the ministry is working on various solutions to address the challenges.

“As an immediate solution, we have engaged since last year on the drilling of boreholes in the Oshikoto region, with 40 boreholes earmarked for Okankolo, Nehale lyaMpingana and Eengodi constituencies. By April or latest May this year, when all drillings and installations are done, we will be able to appreciate the water supply efforts within these constituencies,” Musheko said.

He added that the ministry has been busy with installations of mini-desalination plants across the country, including in the Oshikoto region, where most are completed and will be commissioned and handed over to communities in a few weeks.

“Thirdly, the ministry, together with NamWater, is implementing the construction of the Omundaungilo-Omutsegwonime pipeline funded through a loan from KFW. This in the long run will also cater for the villages mentioned,” he said.

He added that through the Namibia Water Supply Support Project funded by African Development Bank, the ministry is at an advanced stage to commence with the construction of the Omutsegwonime-King Kauluma pipeline to further extend water supply within the Oshikoto region.

Emergency water tanker truck services also aim to ensure those who urgently need water are provided for, he said.
“Once again, challenges remain but so too does our resolve to ensure that all Namibians including those in Oshikoto are provided with water of adequate quantity and acceptable quality,” Musheko said.

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