Residents of Mutengo Mukuro village located 10 kilometres East of Rundu have pleaded with the government to intervene in their quest to have their water tank connected to a nearby water reservoir so that they could have access to clean water.
This follows an incident where the Directorate of Rural Water Supply installed an unconnected empty water tank at the village last December.
One of the residents, Alois Gende said since the tank was brought to the village, it has not been filled with water and community members are now forced to fetch water from the nearby river, which is unsafe and unfit for human consumption.
“This empty tank was brought here last year. They only started filling it last month. I had to go out of my way to buy the pipe that connects the tap to the water tank,” Gende said.
He said Mutengo Mukuro village needs the pipe that will enable them to connect the tank to the nearby reservoir. Villagers, who do not have a borehole and only rely on the tank that is hardly filled with water, say once their tank is connected to the Uvhungu-Vhungu project’s main tank; they will have their water problem addressed permanently.
Uvhungu-Vhungu Farm manager Mabvuto Mwanza informed the MICT news team that in previous years, they offered to connect the village’s tank to the project’s main tank, however, this did not materialise but they are willing to connect the tank provided the Directorate of Rural Water Supply purchases the needed pipe.
“The offer is still standing; we are willing to supply Mutengo Mukuro with water. Those responsible should make sure they provide a pipe to us so that it can be connected to the main tank. We would like to assist the community because it is not safe for children and the elderly to fetch water from the river,” said Mwanza.
The village, which has about 300 inhabitants, does not have a borehole and depends on the rural water supply office to provide water.
Morista Katulo, who heads the rural water supply and sanitation coordination in the Kavango East region, indicated they experienced technical difficulties with the truck that delivers water to constituencies. However, this issue was resolved and the affected constituencies started receiving water last month.
Katulo conceded she was aware of the pipe that the villagers want to connect to the Uvhungu-Vhungu project. She said her directorate is currently out of stock and they made an order in March this year, which the directorate is yet to receive.
In response to the villagers’ plight, Rundu Rural constituency councillor Michael Shikongo said he was aware of the issue and he wrote letters to the relevant offices, including the regional risk disaster management committee of Covid-19 to assist the community with tanks and the pipes that would connect the water tanks to the reservoir.
“I wrote a letter from our constituency, informing them that at Mutengo Mukuro village, what we need is a special pipeline for 65mm. So that we can connect this water tank from the Uvhungu-Vhungu project,” Shikongo said.
The councillor also added that he engaged the rural water supply office on numerous occasions, however, this engagement never yielded results. He proposed that a Constituency Development Fund should be established which will enable constituency offices to procure their equipment so that they can assist the communities promptly.
Rural water supply is in the process to redrill three boreholes that dried up in Rundu Rural, Mashare and Mukwe constituencies to ensure people in these areas have access to water.