OMUTHIYA – Water utility NamWater and the Omuthiya Town Council are planning to set up an additional reservoir that will be dedicated to serving the town in order to ease the water woes that has plagued the area for many years.
As it stands, there is only one reservoir that supplies the town of Omuthiya, as well as surrounding villages that stretch about 30 kilometres.
However, residents are often left with no water or experience low pressure as there is so much strain on the pump station, especially in instances when the reservoir experiences problems.
NamWater’s head for the northern regions Kaliki Kambanda announced this as she spoke about the water cuts that affected residents from last week as a result of power outages experienced at its three pump stations of Oshali, Okatope and Omuthiya.
“A new reservoir is part of our capital budget plans that we are looking at in order to solve the water problem, as the current one is putting strain on the council in supplying its residents,” she added.
In addition, she said, there are plans to expand NamWater’s centre in Omuthiya in order to include operational and maintenance staff members. This she said will soon be implemented, pending the operationalisation of the new company structure that is still before the higher authorities for approval.
The lack of capacity is one of the issues exacerbating the water crisis, as there is no one available to address problems arising at pump stations.
This is because technicians are stationed in Ondangwa, about 80km away. Explaining the water cuts, Kambanda said the issue is mainly caused by power dipping, which also referred to as electricity outage, at the utility’s pump stations.
“It is always difficult for us to detect the problem whenever there are power dips where electricity goes off and on, thus our system sometimes fails to detect this. As a result, we rely on reports when such situations arise. Another scenario would be that if a reservoir level goes below 10%, the pump station at Oshali would not switch on automatically when the power is back, hence this affect pumping water further to Okatope or Omuthiya,” she said.
Meanwhile, acting CEO of Omuthiya town Simon Nghuulondo said they are waiting to be presented with a total cost of the reservoir so that they can streamline their budget. Furthermore, he said, a permanent worker is needed in Omuthiya to be attending to emergencies timely as opposed to now where they travel long distances.
Kambanda said if the situation persists, they would have to deploy a technician on site.