ONGWEDIVA - Farmers have been waiting in vain for water at Lake Oponona, months after the Oshana Regional Council engaged with NamWater to pump water into the lake.
Although the process has commenced and the canal has been cleared and excavated for the water to pass through, the Chief Regional Officer for Oshana Martin Elago said there were too many interruptions hindering the flow of water.
“Even though the excavation has been completed, the hydraulic pressure was not sufficient to push the water forward sufficiently,” said Elago.
The water at Oponona is critically needed especially for farmers whose livestock are now without water.
Farmers in the vicinity of Oponona argued that bringing water to Oponona will cut on the distance travelled by the cattle as it is in the centre of grazing areas.
At the moment, cattle trek at least 25 km to secure water.
Other farmers who can afford ferry water to their animals in order to cut on the long distance.
“Oponona will be a relief because it will save us the transport money we now use to ferry water,” said Sakaria Amutenya.
Elago said the maintenance team is on site to fix the derailments.
Some of the derailments include diversion of water from the canal into the flood plains. “So far, 10 diversions have been fixed between Okahao and Otamanzi. People want water in the Cuvelai plains for the grass to grow, hence the breakage of the canal,” said Elago.
In addition, some community members have allegedly also been switching off pumps at the south wall so that the water does not move which then allows them to fish.