OMUTHIYA - Staffers of the Ekulo Senior Secondary School in the Oshikoto region have applauded Build it for the donation of a 5 000-litre water tank.
Oshikoto has been facing acute water shortages due to pipe breakages and limited water in the reservoirs.
In extreme times, remote villages can go for more than four months without a drop of water from their taps.
Ekulo teachers say their school can go up to a month without water, leaving some 760 learners, including those in the hostel, thirsty, dirty and hungry.
This sometimes leads to the kitchen not being used to prepare food, while ablution facilities are also shut down, forcing both teachers and learners to use the bush whenever nature calls.
“We have gone months without water and this has compromised learning, sanitation and hygiene for both teachers and learners. We really have no other means but to scout water from nearby villages in the town of Omuthiya in buckets and containers for immediate use,” bemoaned Johannes Lo-Ami, one of the teachers.
“It is Covid times and sanitation is very important. However, as it stands, such is compromised, thus creating greater risk. Whenever water shortages hit hard, we seek help from the education ministry or NamWater, who would then arrange for a water tanker, even though it doesn’t last long,” he added.
With the little water they get, they have to prioritise drinking and cooking, and sacrifice bathing.
Now that they have a water tank, the school, however, still needs a borehole and more water tanks to alleviate the ongoing water scarcity.
Meanwhile, principal David Mushaandja could not hide his joy, saying they were assisted with more than they asked for.
“We requested for a 2 500-litre tank, however Build it decided to give us a 5 000-litre tank; we are really grateful. We, however, still need three more 10 000-litre tanks in order to fully alleviate the problem. This will be enough to cater for the whole school and hostel,” said Mushaandja.
Build it Omuthiya manager Lebbius Petrus said they felt the need to assist, because Ekulo school is among their biggest clients.
“Those learners are our future customers, so we have to take care of them now. Also, a water crisis can be extremely difficult for the girl child who experience more discomfort. Our interest is for the learners to have a conducive learning environment, so that they can excel,” he said.