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Opinion - Earth dams and water security

2021-09-07  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Earth dams and water security

Allow me to share my earthly views on your platform. The skeletal nature of this article is engrossed in water conservation in Namibia. Namibia is a semi-arid desert country, where rainfall is a seasonal occurrence that we only have about four to five months of rain. The rest of the year, we depend mostly on boreholes and the water from Angola. No permanent river or lake but when it rains, it pours and our seasonal rivers flow madly. 

We have a seasonal flood that we get blessed in northern Namibia from Angola. My cameo in southern Namibia taught me to harvest rainwater during the rainy season in earth dams, or blocking seasonal rivers to trap water. 

Regions like Oshikoto, part of Oshana, Omusati, Kunene, Ohangwena can get very dry between August to November. With the rain long gone, and the water from Ruacana under heavy competition for humans and animals, thirst becomes the order of the day. Eastern Oshikoto suffers a lot during the dry season. Some areas do not have a good water table to drill boreholes as the water is saline. 

Ohangwena region and Oshikoto suffer more, as piped water pressure takes ages to drive the water to the people, leaving them thirsty for days. 

Luckily, lately, Ohangwena has augmented efforts regionally and individually to tap from the enormous underground aquifer that lies across the region from Angola. 

Despite these efforts, more still needs to be done to solve the water shortage for people and animals in these areas. There are many ways this can be done and herein, I shall allude to a few. 

Drilling of boreholes need to be augmented so that more of them can be drilled and water availed to people and animals. 

 This practice shall be taken upon by traditional leaders and political leadership of the regions, as well as individuals and cooperatives. The main one that could help cut costs is to dig earth dams across these regions to collect water during the free rain that we receive in abundance in these regions during rainy seasons. 

Water often gets wasted and allowed to dry up when it could have been collected for dry seasons. Earth dams can be dug individually – or as a community and village cooperations. 

Private companies shall also invest in these dams to help people live easier with water, which is a basic need. Regional council shall budget toward creating these dams, where they can ask central government through the ministry of works and ministry of water and environment to avail graders to dig earth dams. 

This way, budgets can be directed at the salary for operators and fuel, plus maintenance, instead of tendering, which can be extremely expensive, as it often gets exaggerated during pricing. 

This can save huge costs and help us do more with less. We can also make it a practice that every company that wins a tender can contribute partly to a social responsibility project, which can then be directed towards eradicating the water shortage. 

This will reduce our dependency on our neighbouring countries and the cost of water in the country, although I know some capitalists who believe in bleeding the people dry will not support this. 

Thereafter, community gardening projectsn such as fish and others can be practised along with these earth dams and boreholes as a means to feed the nation and eradicate unemployment. I wish to spark the brain that could someday make Namibia a great nation – so I believe. 

2021-09-07  Staff Reporter

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