SOME villages in Okongo constituency are faced with a serious water shortage, forcing some to travel up to 40km to the nearest water point. The headman of Oshalumbu village, Simon Moses says, there is only a single tap in his village that serves 11 villages.
According to him, communities from afar are forced to walk long distances to access clean water. Moses further said these residents have resorted to drinking saline water from the nearby wells – and such water is not fit for human consumption.
“There is always a long queue at the tap. People travel from various villages, and they are sometimes forced to spend hours in the queue because, sometimes, the water pressure is so low,” he said.
Moses, therefore, called on government to provide water to the remote villages within Okongo constituency. The headman further expressed his frustration with various challenges, including a lack of road infrastructure and network connection, which makes life difficult in the constituency.
Speaking to New Era, Simon Thomas, a resident of Onehanga village, said he walks at least 30km from Onehanga to Oshalumbu village to fetch water. “Sometimes, we drink water from the wells whenever the tap is closed. The tap is operated with a generator but there are times when it is short of diesel,” he said.
Also speaking to New Era, Hafyenanye Petrus said mothers are forced to travel long distances to get clean water for their young ones, since their babies cannot drink water from wells. Petrus added it is painful to see a woman, holding her baby, walking 20km looking for water. Approached for comment, Ohangwena regional chairperson Erickson Ndawanifwa said water shortage has been the main challenge to many villages in the Okongo constituency.
He said they have tried to construct some of the boreholes in the various villages but it is very challenging because the villages are too many, compared to the resources at hand. “I will consult the constituency councillor of Okongo in order to discuss the issues and find an amicable solution to the problem,” he added.’
Long walk… Simon Thomas fetching water from the tap at Oshalumbu village.
Photo: Festus Hamalwa