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Mixed fortunes for Zuma N$100m drought donation

2020-11-05  Albertina Nakale

Mixed fortunes for Zuma N$100m drought donation
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 Albertina Nakale

Some regions did not benefit from the N$100 million drought donation made by the South African government to Namibia in 2014, a parliamentary committee has found. 

The relief package for Namibia was announced by former president Jacob Zuma during a two-day state visit in November 2013. 
The package was then approved by the South African government in October 2014 towards Namibia’s drought woes. 
The N$100 million was divided into two tranches – N$50 million was budgeted for food but does not include animal feed. 

The amount would cover maize seed, maize meal and beans.The other N$50 million was for drilling new boreholes. However, the National Council Standing Committee on Habitat on its visit to obtain feedback on the provision of potable water in rural areas to the Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene, Hardap and //Kharas between 9-24 September 2019 found that some regions did not benefit from the South African relief package five years down the line.

The standing committee chairperson Sipapela Sipapela who last week tabled a report on their findings revealed the project faced challenges such as lack of control as the contractors were from South Africa, hence, the failure of most regional councils to control and monitor the progress of the project.

He said 31 boreholes were yet to be completed under the South African donated fund. Initially, it was expected that about 101 boreholes would be rehabilitated in five regions.“The South African government donated an amount of money that was meant for the drilling of boreholes for the Namibian government, and some regions benefited from the donation intending to provide potable water to the communities. The development of some boreholes, especially in the Kavango East region had been stalled. 

Some regions did not benefit from the donation, and these were regions such as Omusati and Oshana,” Sipapela noted. 
On the provision of repairs for boreholes by the government around the country for the drought relief package, the committee found that some of the infrastructure that required repairs were fixed.

The repaired boreholes entailed much of the solar-panel-driven boreholes some of which had been in an incapacitated state for a very long time. For instance, in the Kunene, the Uhungumure borehole and the Okarukoro borehole have been repaired. 

A similar situation was observed at the Wazanga borehole in the Wazanga district of the Kavango East.“The lack of potable water in certain areas was compounded by the fact that much of the underground water had been rendered undrinkable by high alkaline levels of the soil. The boreholes with high alkaline levels were common in the regions such as the Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati, Kunene, and some parts of the Zambezi and the //Kharas region,” the report shows.

The committee called for more funds to be diverted to the installation of water pipes and the creation of earth dams. The committee hoped to see all boreholes in remote areas repaired, as their dilapidated state spelled hardships for many people out there. 

2020-11-05  Albertina Nakale

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