Residents in the Epembe constituency in Ohangwena region do not have access to clean water since Namibia gained its independence.
The residents usually walk long distances to fetch water from the boreholes and wells for human consumption.
Epembe constituency councillor Mathew Nanghama told New Era he reported this situation many times to the government but to date, the situation has not been solved.
Nanghama expressed the lack of clean drinking water in the Epembe constituency has the residents feeling government has failed to provide their most basic needs.
Nanghama stated that lack of clean water is the main challenge, which plays a huge role in his constituency because about eight villages do not have taps – and this has been a growing challenge for many years.
“The government has tried to build boreholes, which are currently used by the people, but the main problem is that those boreholes don’t have suitable water for human consumption because water is very salty,” he explained.
He further said these residents, therefore, prefer to fetch water from the wells and that some villages do not even have wells.
Nanghama said some elderly and expecting women walk long distances to fetch water from the wells, which is not safe for them – and this has resulted in them resorting to measures such as boiling the water to decrease the risk of becoming ill.
“Mothers of babies travel long distance, looking for clean water for their young ones, since their babies cannot drink water from the boreholes and wells. Sometimes, I used to bring them 20 litres of water so that they give it to their babies because it’s so painful to see a woman holding her baby, walking 10 km looking for water,” he said.
“Sometimes, you find a village with one well serving for three villages; the residents are always crying in front of my office as a councillor but I have been trying my best and nothing has been done yet,” he added.
Meanwhile, the councillor also expressed his frustration with various challenges dominating his constituency, such as lack of proper roads and the issue with network connection, which makes contacting emergency services difficult.
The councillor added there are schools without electricity and clinics as well as a high unemployment rate among the youth in the constituency.
He further explained that shortage of clinics is also a major challenge faced by the residents, especially expecting women, who have to walk long distances to seek medical treatment.
Nanghama said he recently took his constituency’s problems to the office of the Ohangwena governor, Walde Ndevashiya, and the chairperson of the regional council, Ericsson Ndawanifa.
He said, after that meeting, Ndevashiya visited Ohenghono, Oshipya and Oukala villages to have a look at the community water points.
Ndevashiya said immediate actions would be taken to address the constituency’s water situation.