In an effort to improve sanitation, the government has secured N$1.8 billion from the African Development Bank to address bulk and rural water supply needs in Namibia.
Namibia has the lowest levels of sanitation coverage in southern Africa.
Only 34% of the country’s population has access to improved sanitation facilities. That percentage drops to 14% in the country’s rural areas.
The practice of open defecation, which occurs in 14% of urban areas and 77% of rural areas, increases the spread of diseases, and majorly impacts general health.
According to the most recent Namibian Population and Housing Census report, 80% of households have access to clean water, but only 60% in the rural populations have access to clean water.
Motivating the agriculture, water and land reform ministry’s budget for the 2020/2021 financial year, minister Calle Schlettwein said recently in the National Assembly that they will need over N$1.7 billion.
Of the total of more than N$1.7 billion, an amount of N$392.4 million, or 31%, is allocated for development projects of the agriculture and land reform sectors, while about N$863.5 million, or 69%, is for operational expenditure.
He also motivated the budget of water affairs, with a total allocation of N$465.1 million. This vote’s allocation is to improve water supply security and bulk water supply infrastructure, as well as the sanitation policy and programmes.
An amount of N$186.6 million has been allocated towards addressing water infrastructure development, and the maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure countrywide.
He simultaneously announced that the ministry had secured funding from the African Development Bank to the tune of N$1.8 billion that will be addressing bulk and rural water supply needs in the country.
“The ministry is also cognisant of the importance of water for economic and social development. It is in this respect that we are putting in place programmes to improve water supply security by ensuring a coordinated planning and implementation programme of the rural and bulk water supply infrastructure and the sanitation programmes,” emphasised Schlettwein.
N$50 million earmarked for the rural water supply programme has been allocated for the construction of rural secondary pipelines.
Sanitation coordination is aimed at providing and improving access to sanitation, and the use of improved sanitation facilities in Namibia.
Schlettwein said currently, 46% (national), 17% (rural) and 70% (urban) areas are served with appropriate facilities, and that is in line with the Namibia Inter-Census Demographic Survey 2016.
Furthermore, with the allocated amount of N$2.9 million, the ministry aims to construct at least 250 sanitation facilities in rural areas countrywide.
In order to achieve the objectives of the N$465.3 million budgeted for water affairs, it is split into N$ 204.6 million or 44% for capital projects, while N$260.7 million or 66% is intended for operational expenditure.