EPEMBE - The community of eastern Ohangwena, particularly in Epembe, Oshikunde and Omundaungilo constituencies, want the government to act promptly to address water scarcity.
The community currently relies on man-made wells as the boreholes previously drilled are either saline or high in fluoride and as result the water is unfit for human consumption.
The community claims the water they are now exposed to pose a health hazard as it is not clean while some are infested with small worms.
The revelations were made during a site visit by the Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Anna Shiweda, at Ohakafiya in Epembe.
The two senior government officials toured Epembe, Oshikunde and Omundaungilo to assess the water situation and find immediate solutions to bring water to the affected community.
“We were informed there is a critical need for water especially for household consumption, hence we want to see which areas are critically affected and need urgent intervention,” said Pohamba.
At Ohakafiya the community informed the minister and deputy minister that the borehole water damage their clothes, crack their skin and as such it is only fit for animal consumption.
The traditional well on the other hand does not produce a lot of water because there is no underground recharge and as a result some individuals have to wait at least up to two days before they can have water.
“It is luck if you get water that day,” said one community member.
Others allegedly also spend nights at the wells waiting for water to accumulate.
Ester Haimbodi from Ohamikoka in Epembe said they depend on water ferried to the community by the agriculture ministry.
“However, such water is sometimes not enough for all of us,” said Haimbodi.
Amongst other alternatives, the government will look into monitoring the behaviour of the Ohangwena aquifer, drill boreholes from the aquifer or desalinate the existing boreholes.
The Ohangwena Regional Council has also relocated water tanks from constituencies where they were no longer in use, to the affected communities.
“We have about 50 tanks that we have relocated, thus we are now able to ferry water where they are installed,” said the chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo.