ONGWEDIVA – The vandalism of government boreholes has caused a shortage of water in the villages.
Residents have to travel long distances to fetch water from the wells, as water infrastructure is vandalised.
Last week, when New Era visited Olukula village in the Okongo constituency, residents said the situation has forced them to drink water from the wells because boreholes are no longer functioning.
This year, executive director in the ministry Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said 120 water pumps installed to benefit different communities countrywide have been stolen.
She was speaking during the handover of water infrastructure for Amarika farmers’ cooperative at Olumpelengwa village in the Omusati region last month.
She further emphasised that this shows there is little appreciation for infrastructure.
She said she was in disbelief that no one realised that someone had gone there, opened the borehole and stole the pump.
Constituency councillor of Omundaungilo Festus Ikanda said his constituency has one borehole that is not working after a solar panel was stolen by the community members.
“Residents are always complaining about a shortage of water in the constituency, but they do not know they are the main cause of it,” Ikanda said.
Meanwhile, the councillor of the Oshikunde constituency Lonia Kaishungu added it is painful when the government is trying to provide water infrastructures to its residents but people are not taking care of the facilities.
“I also have boreholes that are not working after being vandalised by the community members. Now, they don’t have access to clean water because of their carelessness,” she stressed.
Efraim Shipindo, the councillor of the Okongo constituency, said it is very painful when they are putting more effort into approaching the ministry of water to allocate clean water to people, but they do not take care of the boreholes.
“The government has tried to build water infrastructure in the constituency to ensure people have access to clean water. Now, it looks like nothing has been done by the government in terms of water provision,” he stressed.
Last month, while officially handing over the borehole in the Okahao constituency, water minister Calle Schlettwein called on communities to expose people who steal water pumps so that they can be dealt with.
Schlettwein said, every year, his ministry tries very hard, with limited financial resources, to bring water to thirsty communities, but a week after communities start benefitting from the water pumps, the pumps are stolen.
“We must catch these thieves. We must deal with them. We will only do that if we all work together,” the minister said.