Water affairs department underspends budget by N$35,1 million

Junias Kandjeke

The budget allocated to the Department of Water Affairs in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform was underspent by N$35,1 million in the financial year ended 31 March 2023.

This is contained in a report by auditor general Junias Kandjeke.

The funds could have been used to address pressing water challenges in the country.

“It was noted that the total budget for the Department of Water Affairs is underspent with an amount of N$35,1 million (6,15%). This money could have been utilised for other projects,” Kandjeke noted in the report.

The report was tabled in the National Assembly for further scrutiny this week.

The ministry was allocated N$1,7 billion in the 2023/2024 financial year.

“It is recommended that the accounting officer (Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata) should put measures in place to avoid under-expenditure and should ensure that all planned programmes are implemented,” Kandjeke said.

Justifying the underspending to Kandjeke, ministry executive director Ndiyapuki Nghituwamata noted in the report that the under-expenditure was due to the virement that was authorised late in February, which could not be utilised for operational and development expenditure.

The auditors also noted that the ministry did not conduct stocktaking for stores, equipment and livestock, which are subject to stocktaking at least once each financial year, with the accounting officer meant to submit a report.

“The accounting officer shall submit the report thereon to treasury for approval as soon as possible after the stocktaking within 30 days after the end of the financial year concerned,” Kandjeke noted in the report.

Kandjeke added that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) issued a directive calling for staff members in the regional offices of ministries, offices and agencies to be trained to conduct stock control in their respective regions.

The directive instructs that staff members should not travel from the head office or from one region to another to conduct stocktaking at regional level.

He said at the compilation of the report, “the department has 16 stock points, however, during the financial year under review, the department conducted stocktaking at only one stock point”.

Nghituwamata noted in the report that, “the department was unable to carry out stocktaking at all stock points due to insufficient budget allocation on daily subsistence allowance given the ceilings provided by the finance ministry to curb expenditure”.

“The department will ensure the implementation of the OPM administrative directive 1 of 2018 in the future,” Nghituwamata noted in the report.

According to Kandjeke, it is recommended that the accounting officer ensures that stocktaking is conducted by staff members from regional offices as instructed by the OPM’s administrative directive.


Despite the department having an underspend, Kandjeke said the department’s financial performance and the use of appropriated funds are in compliance in all material respects with the State Finance Act, Appropriation Act, Appropriation Amendment Act, Public Procurement Act, treasury instructions and public procurement regulations.


Despite the department underspending money meant for water supply, potable water challenges have plagued the Oshikoto region for years, due to either low pressure or water which is unfit for human and animal consumption.

The ministry said the matter is receiving its utmost attention and noted efforts to drill boreholes in some areas.

Ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko previously told The Namibian that as an immediate solution, the ministry has since last year been drilling 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 drilling and installations are done, we will be able to [finalise] the water supply efforts within these constituencies,” Musheko said.


Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) lawmaker Maximalliant Katjimune said, “This is complete incompetence and a lack of innovation. You have the funds, but people are suffering out there, while you are sending back money. Whatever the reason is, this shows a lack of political will. This is the same ministry that returned N$98 million some years ago,” he said.


In July last year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform was blasted for returning N$98 million to the treasury meant for the Department of Land Reform, which commentators have described as disgraceful.

According to the ministry’s audited financial report for 2021/22, which was tabled in parliament, the Department of Agriculture and Land Reform failed to use its allocated budget.

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