• November 15th, 2018
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Etunda irrigation scheme under threat

National
National

Outapi The future of Etunda Irrigation Project and some small green scheme projects that depend on the supply of water from the Calueque canal in Omusati Region hangs in balance, as NamWater allegedly threatens to close the canal to Oshakati and replace it with underground pipes. The new development will block the surrounding communities from accessing the water, especially small scale farmers along the Ruacana-Outapi stretch, putting Etunda irrigation project and small scale crop farmers in the surrounding communities on the verge of collapse if no alternative solution is found to remedy the situation. The revelations were made by the Governor of Omusati Region, Erginus Endjala last Friday during a consultative meeting aimed at drafting his declaration of intent at the town. According to Endjala, the Namibian water utility intends on closing the canal – the only supplier of water for almost the entire Omusati Region with no satisfactory answer given. The closure of the canal will see the region facing a critical shortage of water, which will inevitable threatens the existence of the more than 17 hectres Etunda Irrigation project and other small scale farmers in the region who depends on the canal for commercial and substance farming. “How can we even address malnutrition in our region which currently stands at number three in the whole country if green schemes which are the main source of food are no longer in existence?” he asked. “It means we will have to go back to the old age system of digging boreholes in order to feed even our animals,” said Endjala. However, the Governor said that the only remedy to keep the Etunda Irrigation Project running is to rehabilitate the Olushandja Dam, which runs from Epalela to Onesi Constituency. The rehabilitation is said to cost millions of Namibian Dollars. The feasibility study of this rehabilitation already stands at N$1.5 million. Once rehabilitated the dam can cover over 17km long distance deep and 2km wide, making it possible to channel water for a distance covering over 280km from Onesi to Uuvudhiya. “We might not have Diamond or Uranium in our region, but the Olushandja Dam is our “black diamond” and we have to do everything possible to rehabilitate it so that we do not end up even consuming tomatoes produced from other regions while we can do it ourselves.” He said. It is not the region only that will be affected by the closure of the canal, but various fresh produce hubs that falls under the AMTA brand, as they get 95% of their suppliers from Etunda. * Lot Shikongo works for the Information and Communication Technology Ministry as an Information and Communication Officer in Omusati Region
New Era Reporter
2015-06-23 10:38:34 3 years ago

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