RUNDU – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform recently procured drilling rigs in an effort to expedite water provision to rural communities. The ministry said it pays a lot of money through tenders to contractors to drill boreholes in different rural communities, especially those prone to crocodile attacks.
Deputy agriculture minister Anna Shiweda also noted the ministry bought one water tanker for each one of the two Kavango regions.
Government has now spent N$17 million on two new trucks and for the renovation of another. One of the trucks can drill up to 300 metres.
“We have been using private rigs to drill water and it has been very expensive and today, I’m telling you that government has procured rigs so that we do it inhouse. Recently, the ministry identified villages along the Kavango River, which are prone to crocodile attacks. The ministry intends on collaborating with its sister Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry in this regard.
“Furthermore, in Kavango East and Kavango West, the ministry has an ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Art and Culture as well as Ministry of Health and Social Services to ensure water coverage and sanitation to rural schools and clinics,” said the deputy minister during a handover of 22 boreholes on Wednesday at Ngone village in Kavango East.
The boreholes were donated by ReconNamibia to the people of Kavango East and Kavango West regions with each region getting 11 boreholes each respectively. In Kavango West, the official handover was done at Epingiro village.
Shiweda indicated that in the 2022/2023 financial year, the ministry of agriculture has allocated additional financial resources to the Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination with the view of increasing water coverage to many rural communities throughout the country and especially in the two regions of Kavango East and Kavango West respectively.
“Furthermore, through the Namibia Water Sector Support Programme and as was announced by our minister earlier this year, the ongoing rehabilitation of the Rundu Treatment Plant will enable us to extend water pipelines from Rundu to Katwitwi, to Divundu and Mururani,” she said.
With government’s efforts in the fight to provide water to rural communities, the deputy minister appreciated the resources allocated by ReconNamibia. “It came at the opportune time to augment the limited available government resources. As a government and community, therefore, we should grab this donation from ReconNamibia with both hands, and in showing our appreciation by taking good care of this boreholes,” she said.
“We realised the challenge that the people living along Kavango River have that is exposing them to the dangers of the crocodiles. Under the guidance of the ministry, we have now commenced to drill community water wells along the river to at least give the people the option to not go down to the river,” said Craig Steinke, executive chairman of ReconAfrica.