OSHONGWE - The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare last week handed over water infrastructure projects worth N$3.8 million to the Ohangwena Regional Council, thereby benefiting residents of Omundaungilo and Oshikunde constituencies.
Ohangwena has been facing water challenges over the years, especially in areas such as Oshikunde, Omundaungilo, Epembe and Okongo, where most of the boreholes have salty water. The situation has forced these residents to depend on man-made wells, which many at times cannot cater for all of them.
The ministry financed the water infrastructure pipeline network connections from Oitunhu borehole to Oshipala village in Omundaungilo, and interconnections at Oshongwe, Omahahi, Omushai and Omandjadja villages in the Oshikunde constituency.
The Oshongwe inhabitants, who were reportedly suffering due to water scarcity, to the extent of using urine to prepare their threshing floors, as per a video clip circulating on social media, now have clean water for both human and animal consumption.
Ohangwena Regional Council spokesperson Panduleni Nepembe said the two boreholes were drilled by the regional authority through the Directorate of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination.
The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare was responsible for equipping and connecting the boreholes to enable the supply of water to affected villages.
He added that the two water projects would benefit more than 1 000 people in the two constituencies.
Nepembe further said in an effort to address water shortage in the region, the Office of the Prime Minister, through the drought relief programme 2019/2020 financial year, availed N$ 24.7 million to Ohangwena for water infrastructure.
Speaking at the handover ceremony on Thursday, the minister of poverty eradication and social welfare Zephania Kameeta said the projects are part of the ministry’s special programme, funded through the ministerial donation account that was established in 2016 to help vulnerable and disadvantaged Namibians.
Moreover, Kameeta called on other institutions to follow suit.
“I want to see, while I am alive, that the tears and cries of the poor are heard and that their tears are wiped away. I am therefore appealing to other government OMAs, business fraternity and individuals to come to the community rescue through Ohangwena Regional Council or our ministerial donation account,” urged Kameeta.
Since the inception of the poverty eradication ministerial donation account, the ministry has assisted projects ranging from water infrastructure development and rehabilitation in other regions, community gardens and assisting students from underprivileged backgrounds with tuition fees.
By Hilma Nakanduungile