• February 23rd, 2020

20 Oshikoto schools affected by water crisis

Obrein Simasiku

OMUTHIYA -The water crisis in Oshikoto Region has reached alarming levels that require urgent interventions and if not timely addressed this will lead to loss of human lives, says the head of Rural Water Supply Stevenson Tuukondjele.
In a telephonic interview, Tuukondjole told New Era that ground level water has dried up while boreholes having become unfit for human consumption as quality has been compromised with water turning grey. 
“The wells upon which the community survived on have dried up completely, while water from boreholes is now of poor quality, thus has become unfit for human consumption. The ground water has not been reached for the past two years due to lack of rainfall,” he reiterated.  
In addition, Tuukondjele said, some farmers from the area of Ombuga in Omuntele have resorted to taking their animals as far as Uukule, Onyaanya Constituency where animals are drinking sewage water from a pond. “They have no choice anymore, their animals stay for more than three days before they can drink water from few communal wells, where farmers queue up for days before their animal can drink,” he stressed.  
“On Tuesday I visited the areas in Okankolo and Eengodhi Constituency, I did not like what I saw there. The situation is very bad. People have to wake up around 03h00 with donkeys to go fetch water, trekking distances of about 10 kilometres. And this includes school going children, a state that is compromising their education,” said a distressed Tuukondjele, 
“I do not see the reason why we as officials have to be in office if people on the peripheries are suffering like that, the situation on the ground is beyond worse,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb last week announced a budgetary provision of N$494.85 million towards the development of the water sector and supply of water to rural communities in communal areas. 
Of that amount, N$252.85 is dedicated to that course. The Office of the Prime Minister also announced a N$573 million drought package aimed at helping farmers and families severely affected by droughts.
Tuukondjele said, the ministry’s water tanker is broken and has been in the garage for close to two month, leaving about 20 schools and a number of clinics in a dire state. “School feeding programmes have been suspended and in some instances learners are given days off just to fetch water. While learners intending to camp on school ground have been turned away.”
“My appeal to government is to release funds urgently in order to address the situation. Animals have already started dying, thus people should be at the forefront now as a matter of priority, because there is no way they will survive without water, drought can be there but if they have water they will still be able to live on the little that is available,” said Tuukondjele.
He further called upon the ministry make monetary provision to complete the Omuntele water pump station that has been stagnant for the past three years. N$15 million is needed to complete the job which is at over 80 percent.
He also appealed for funds for drilling and installation of new boreholes, as well as additional fleet of water tankers to service remote areas as a short-term 
Caption: (Crisis): Beast of burden…Due to water crisis in Oshikoto, community members relies on donkeys to fetch water from distant areas.


Obrien Simasiku
2019-05-16 09:45:41 | 9 months ago

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