ONGWEDIVA – Following a cloudy weekend as well as a broken borehole generator, the Hainyeko Combined School in the Ohangwena region is left with limited water, as both boreholes in the vicinity ran dry.
The local generator is broken while the solar-powered borehole from the San centre in the area is also without water due to cloudy conditions, which has significantly dropped the output of solar.
In similar situations, the school usually resorts to getting water from a local well, but it has also run out of water.
“Unfortunately today, even the well is dry and will need to wait for a while for the well to generate water again,” said a head of department at the school, Kalusu Nghihupundombe.
The well is situated about 3.5 km away and the learners usually use donkeys to fetch water.
The school is situated in the Okongo constituency and has a learner population of 350, of which the majority are San children from various centres in the region.
Nghihupundombe said the current situation is not new, saying it has been happening for years.
In some instances, the school can go without potable water for up to a month and solely have to depend on the well.
The school is situated in the eastern part of the region, which is without potable water and depends solely on boreholes.
A borehole was since drilled at the school at the end of last year. However, the school fears that it might take forever to get it running. A similar delay is experienced with the transformer that was installed at the school in June 2018 and still not running.
Besides putting up a transformer two years ago, the school is still without electricity.
This has prompted the school to purchase a generator to keep the school’s activities operational.
However, the school still experiences challenges of storing its cold food because the gas-operated fridge is too small, leading to items such as relish being spoiled fast.
Development planner responsible for the marginalised community in Ohangwena, Tomas Puleinge said his office in consultation with the regional council is hard at work to ensure that the school’s electricity and water woes are resolved soonest.
He said a delegation also recently visited the school to assess the situation and see how best to address the problems at hand.
In addition to the water and electricity crisis, the school population has surpassed the facilities available.
Nghihupundombe said the school has made an alternative to use one of its storerooms and put up an extra corrugated room to accommodate more learners as the school only has two wide rooms for its learners.
“We have two to three learners sharing beds while many do not have cupboards for storage,” said Nghihupundombe.
In addition, some classrooms at the school have up to 55 learners while senior grades do not have proper classrooms.
“Those grades are taught in shacks, of which the corrugated iron do not reach the roof top, making teaching very hard as one can clearly hear the next class lesson,” said Nghihupundombe.
Education director in Ohangwena Isak Hamatwi said he needed to have access to the report from the delegation that visited the school before he can