OMUTHIYA - The community of Choi in Kongola constituency of the Zambezi region has appealed to the authorities to fast-track the provision of water, as they are forced to trek long distances to fetch water from nearby villages.
Residents argued this should be treated with urgency, considering the Covid-19 pandemic, thus they are unable to do regular hand washing which is deemed crucial in the fight against the pandemic.
Government had earlier this year directed regional councils and local authorities to provide water to the communities for free and also connect those whose water was cut.
The community had approached the councillor’s office requesting for water provision after which it was resolved that villages will be connected from a local school which has a solar-powered borehole.
“We dug the trenches long ago, but we don’t know where the holdup is, yet there is a virus crisis to which water is vital in the fight. We are also concerned that the solar panels pumping water are of low capacity of which we fear it might not be able to pump enough to cater for the large community. As it stands, one of the tanks installed at the school does not even get filled up, due to low solar capacity.”
Kongola councillor David Muluti said the issue is being addressed and it is in the hands of the ministry of works to do the connections.
“I took the matter up with the directorate of education and it was agreed the community can be connected to the school water system. Therefore, we are waiting for the ministry of works to come do the work, which I believe will be soon,” responded Muluti.
Furthermore, the councillor said the water crisis in the constituency is rife even though there are a total of 11 boreholes to be drilled and rehabilitated.
The problem is due to ageing infrastructure and the drought which has seen ground water drying up, said Muluti.
“As such, we will have to rehabilitate some boreholes, by also deepening and replacing the pipes as some boreholes have been existing for many years. So far, five have been drilled while three are rehabilitated, while another three is yet to be drilled pending the availability of funds,” he added.
In July, it was reported that a N$9.2 million from a total of N$19.2 million under the drought relief programme meant to provide water to communities in the region was unused, while Kongola constituency was at the time offered N$1.3 million.