Only one borehole is currently catering for seven Oshikoto villages, since these villlages have received no water delivery since January.
Otatashe village headman Samuel Kamati earlier this week said their village and other surrounding villages received poor rainfall this year, with no tap water reaching their homesteads due to poor water pressure from the reservoirs at Omuthiya.
This means residents of the Otatashe, Onelago No2, Oshana Shepandela, Omupupa, Osaataha, Oshikondiilongo, Akazulu, and Onalushishi, Onakadilu and Onanyele villages have no access to water.
“It has been a dry year so far. The government tried to drill five boreholes, but the water is sour. NamWater has stopped supplying us with water,” Kamati said.
“I drilled my own borehole in 2021. Luckily it has better water for consumption, but it is currently overloaded, because all my village people and animals use it,” he said.
Kamati said since water delivery stopped, the demand for clean water has risen.
“Our water taps are dry because there is no pressure. And the pipe is overloaded. We are losing cattle, and we are now just giving up,” he said.
The headman said around 500 head of cattle are given water from his borehole per day.
“Although they used to bring us water, one water truck is not enough. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform drilled deeper hoping to get clean water, but it did not help,” Kamati said.
“There’s no water to bath or wash with. Every day I’m receiving complaints of people losing cattle and goats due to thirst. We need water as an emergency,” he said.
Oshikoto regional governor Penda ya Ndakolo says residents of all the affected villages should inform his office of issues.
“The office of the governor is not really there to supply water, but we are there to represent the central government,” he says.
Ya Ndakolo says he will contact the rural water supply office, as well as NamWater on the way forward.
“We will assist them . . . We will always take our people’s complaints seriously,” he says.
A resident of one of the affected villages says: “It is so sad how we only have dinner when we have water.”
WATER MINISTRY RESPONDS
Agriculture ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko says the halting of water supply to Otatashe was caused by a water truck’s tyre bursting, which had to be replaced.
He says the issue has been resolved and the ministry will commence with the delivery of water this week.
“The problem is that there is no water pressure in the pipelines that take water to these villages. We are aware of that and we are working on it with NamWater,” Musheko says.
He says the ministry will continue taking water to these villages until the water pressure issue is resolved.
“NamWater is also busy with the upgrading of the Oshakati purification plant and replacing pipes that take water to Oshikoto,” Musheko says.
In October 2021, The Namibian reported that the same villages were sharing a tap which had been dry for seven months.
Villagers had resorted to using salty borehole water which was not fit for human or animal consumption.
Those who had cars fetched water from Omuthiya and Oshamakaka near Omuthiya, and others had to make use of donkeys.
Speaking to The Namibian, a village headman at the time, Paulus Hangula, said some residents had private boreholes and charged between N$2 and N$4 per container of water.
He said there were five government boreholes at these villages which were not functional.
Community members pleaded with the government to construct earth dams in catchment areas at the villages to store water.
They also suggested that the government build a reservoir at the villages.