WINDHOEK- The water levels of many boreholes in //Kharas Region have dropped below catch point levels, resulting in many communities being placed on the tanker-water-supply services-a situation that has put a tremendous burden on the already under-resourced department of rural water supplies.
This was revealed by Dawid Boois who is Berseba Constituency Councillor in the //Kharas Region when he was contributing to the debate on the Appropriation Bill in the National Council last week.
According to him, two water tankers which were donated by Neckartal Dam contractors (Salini) are standing idle at offices of rural water supply, because of lack of urgency to facilitate required documents, whilst most of the vehicles are parked, due to expired licence disks -and repairs not done due to insufficient maintenance budget.
“These are some of the issues that need urgent attention to ease drought response. The water crisis is real in the//Kharas Region. Water is important to economic growth and is fundamental to poverty eradication and job creation; meaning, without water there will be no economic development and progress,” Boois said. Boois maintained government should not only be worried about the adverse impacts of climate change, the fact that it is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
Equally, he said the impact of drought due to lack of rain has worsened; there is a water crisis-as in the whole of //Kharas Region in general, but Berseba Constituency in particular.
Hence, he indicated drought that persists for several years can create substantial and devastating agronomic difficulties and genuine economic hardship for agricultural producers and agriculturally-based businesses in rural communities.
“Agriculture is known to be the most affected sector from environmental threats due to its dependency to climate factors. Drought as one of the threats seen in recent years affects agricultural production. Climate change is real and drought- is one of the concerns of this century. It will become worse in the future with more impacts to rural poor communities,” Boois noted. He stated drought mitigation perhaps only exists in governmental policy documents.
Moreover, he said the lack of a disaster management plan makes it difficult to prepare for drought. Further, he feels an inadequate relationship between farmers and the government also makes it difficult to create a sense of shared vision and mission for drought alleviation. He pointed out that one prominent issue that makes the effects of drought so severe is the process of relief; it has taken too long for the government to give assistance to the farmers.
Boois raised concern that there is below average capital project implementation rate which continuously dropped awkwardly since 2015 unabated-and the trend continues -as many projects are not completed every year in the region.
In addition to that, he said they are faced with the bureaucracy of state officials that is further extended by lack of urgency to implement funded projects and programs of the government; subsequently, capital projects are running out of time- and all budgeted projects cannot be implemented.
He cited an example in the region, which he said he made a submission to utilise funds from the Tax Refund allocated to his constituency last year in November 2018 amongst others, but not a single one was implemented to address the water contamination crisis in Gainachas, which is a health hazard, as the community do not have clean drinking water, as their primary source of water has been contaminated.
He said the line ministry has approached them to assist with the procurement of pipes and related items so that they can provide clean potable water to the community, but their request for release of funds, already allocated did not find the project implemented until to date.
“I was challenged by the managers of the council for requesting funds to address a water crisis that community -and school faced in Vaalgras area -with a claim ‘that regional council does not have the mandate to provide services in un-proclaimed settlements. Something that I have condemned to destroy until its grain vanishes through the explicit mandate vested in me by the Regional Council’s Act,” he said.
2019-05-22 08:42:06 | 10 months ago