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Vandalism of water infrastructure costly

2019-11-13  Obrien Simasiku

Vandalism of water infrastructure costly

Obrein Simasiku

ONANKALI – The Directorate of Rural Water Supply in Oshikoto region says the vandalism of infrastructure continues to be a major hurdle in government’s efforts to provide uninterrupted water supply. 
It claims some community members have been vandalising property and fencing off road paths, making it difficult for government officials to access certain areas. 

Head of rural water supply Stevenson Tuukondjele expressed concern about vandalism, saying it was pure negligence perpetuated by some community elders who act immaturely. Tuukondjele said their investigations concluded that some water tankers have holes and can’t hold water for much longer, because of unscrupulous community members who are responsible for the damage. 

He also accused some of cutting water pipes. “Water tanker trucks are unable to reach certain villages because community members have fenced off the road path, hence leaving other areas inaccessible. Another issue is the community members vandalising installed water tankers and cutting water pipelines. Yet they are the ones complaining that there is no water. These are man-made crises,” he said.

“We therefore appeal to the community to stop their actions. How many times will government continue pumping funds into the same infrastructure over and over as a result of negligence,” fumed Tuukondjele.
His revelation comes against the backdrop of New Era’s article a fortnight ago in which an eight-year-old boy from Ofilu village reportedly died after consuming water that is unfit for human consumption. 
Five others were hospitalised.

An 18-year-old suffocated to death on Saturday at Indongo Yakeelu while deepening a well.
 “We went to the area, and indeed we found that the area has five water storage tankers. However, they were all damaged; they are holes caused by gunshots. People come and shoot birds and forget the long-term effects of their actions. Roads are also bad, not cleared to accommodate a truck, while some parts are inaccessible. Nevertheless, as we speak we delivered 10 cubic litres of water last Friday after our officials managed to fix one tanker,” said Tuukondjele.
Furthermore, he said, the community was instructed to fix the remaining tankers and once completed water will be delivered. 

 “We cannot risk taking trucks to areas where there are no roads. Maintaining (vehicles) is very expensive. For instance a tyre of the truck cost over N$300 000 and that is like buying a new car.”
Oshikoto has been hard-hit with drought to such an extent that some boreholes and traditional wells have dried up, while in other parts water is saline, thus unfit for human consumption. 

On a lighter note, Tuukondjele said the directorate has drilled and rehabilitated three boreholes with money made possible by the Office of the Prime Minister, which contributed N$1 million from its emergency fund. 

2019-11-13  Obrien Simasiku

Tags: Oshikoto
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