Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva-There is a sigh of relief for over 70 farmers in the surroundings of Olushandja Dam after the water utility NamWater restored the pumping of water from the Calueque Canal to the reservoir. Olushandja sustains many communal farmers as they are able to pump water from this dam to irrigate their crops but last December the dam ran dry after NamWater failed to pump water into the dam. The dwindling water supply into the reservoir forced small and medium horticulture producers to neglect their gardens, resulting in job losses. Chairperson of the Olushandja Farmers Association, Paulus Amutenya, said some farmers have in recent days started receiving water. “The flow of water to the farmers was further assisted by the recent rains in the area. At this point, we cannot say all the farmers have access to water, but in a few days’ time we expect everyone to be up and running,” said an elated Amutenya. Amutenya said the farmers at Olushandja were falling behind with supplying produce to the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA). Amutenya said in three months’ time, the communal farmers are likely to supply AMTA again in large quantities as it has been the case in the past. The regional manager of the Ongwediva Fresh Produce Business Hub Jacob Hamutenya sounded positive on developments at Olushandja. “They have been delivering at a slow pace, but we hope that an amicable lasting solution would be found between the two parties,” said Amutenya. Olushandja farmers during the 2016/17 financial year supplied AMTA with 619 metric tons of produce. Governor of Omusati Region, Erginus Endjala, during the recent conference on Water, Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change said the supply to AMTA is an indication of the importance of ensuring consistent supply of water to Olushandja. The governor said the farmers at Olushandja play a pivotal role in securing food and creating much-needed employment. “When you talk about alleviation of hunger, you cannot only alleviate hunger when you provide food to the people, but one of the key elements towards hunger alleviation is to create employment. People must get money to meet their basic needs,” said Endjala.
2018-03-16 09:24:57 6 months ago