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Earth dam relieves water-deprived Ozombouvapa

2024-05-21  Correspondent

Earth dam relieves water-deprived Ozombouvapa

Zebaldt Ngaruka


EPUKIRO – The recent heavy rain in the Omaheke region’s Epukiro constituency brought relief to the community of the water-deprived Ozombouvapa settlement. 

The settlement suffered water scarcity over the period of seven years and relied on the neighbouring Otjimati and Okatuuo villages for daily water for both livestock and human consumption. 

When New Era visited the largest earth dam in Epukiro, livestock were seen resting along the Ozombouvapa dam, measuring 300 000 cubic metres, with villagers waiting for animals to arrive for drinking and inspection purposes. 

The village secretary, Evalista Tjituka, told this publication the dam brought huge relief to residents, and life started to get back to normal.

“We are relieved, and a big thanks goes to the Almighty who blessed us with showers. At least, now we don’t have to buy water from neighbouring villages, and we are saving the costs involved in carrying water from other places,” she said. 

The secretary added they are now saving fuel for water pump engines, and they are resting due to sufficient water in the tanks.

Tjituka said the village has three boreholes, but they cannot provide water to the entire settlement comprising 36 homesteads.

“We spent a lot on the water. Our engines were having mechanical problems, and it was a very costly exercise to maintain. Finally, we are now saving some money from livestock payments in the bank, which has been dry for a long period,” she added. 

Asked what other challenges the settlement is facing, Tjituka said the fences of the waterpoint need to be fixed after they were destroyed during the time of water scarcity.

“We made quotations from our local people here in Ozombouvapa, especially the youth, to benefit from this project,” she said. 

The other challenge the settlement is facing is the increase of stock theft in the area, which the secretary said emanated from the fact that cattle are not coming home due to enough water at the earth dam and large ponds like Erindi Ramoro, Ongootura, Maraspeke and Erindi Romipanda, amongst others, which still have water.

“The thievery will continue, and those ponds are the targets for the thieves. Our dam is the hotspot for them. It’s high time the neighbouring villages collaborate and save their livestock, and the known offenders are always on their horses day and night,” Tjituka said angrily. 

She narrated the latest incident, where three cows belonging to Ozombouvapa residents were found beheaded, and no arrests made so far.

She urged the settlement residents to continue paying their monthly for their cattle to assist the village when a difficult period comes.

“Since the rain poured, I noticed a reduction in payment, but that will take us back in the mud, as we don’t know when our dam will dry. Let’s cooperate in that aspect to be on the safe side."

Thomas Shapange said the last rain brought huge relief, as the condition of his cattle now is better.

“We were transporting cattle to neighbouring Otjimati for water – and most livestock lost body conditions. Some even died during that difficult period, but now God helped us,” said Shapange.

He added the challenge now will be to control the stock theft.  

“The offenders are targeting those dams and ponds to slaughter our cattle. We don’t have to sleep, and wintertime is their favourite because the meat doesn’t get rotten,” he stated. 

Another resident, Kapukuse Joe Tjozongoro, said the dam is full, but it needs to be overhauled to keep water for a longer period. 

He said the settlement suffered a lot, and efforts from the government are slow. Something, therefore, needs to be done about water problems in Ozombouvapa. 

“I am still scared of the difficult time, as we don’t know how long it will keep this water. Our councillor and community leaders must think of lasting solutions to our village water problems,” appealed Tjozongoro.

Ozombouvapa is situated about 48 kilometres north of the capital Omaueuozonjanda.


2024-05-21  Correspondent

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