HAMWEYI – Hamweyi headman Reinold Mangundu says his village still lacks basic services such as electricity, and residents walk long distances to access potable water.
The Kavango West village has no potable water pipeline to supply 235 households.
Hamweyi is situated in the Ncuncuni constituency.
The headman told New Era they have a new borehole in the area but it is far from where most people live.
The old borehole is forever out of order, forcing residents to travel long distances in search of clean drinking water.
“We don’t have electricity. We don’t watch TV news; [We] don’t have these modern phones that can link us to the world to know what is going on around us, as we have nowhere to charge them,” he said.
The village has a primary school that has classes from grade one to grade 7 and has offices for agriculture extension officers and no clinic.
Mangundu believes the problem lies with those entrusted to deliver and the much-needed services, accusing them of sleeping on the job.
“We have a lot of problems; as you can see, our crop fields are dry. We didn’t plough due to challenges with tractor assistance. Many people are languishing in poverty here and they don’t have oxen to plough with, so they relied on government tractors but the last ploughing season did not materialise,” the headman indicated.
“It didn’t go well because the government tractor services was brought late to the village and it broke down. The agriculture extension officers don’t even hold meetings with the community; the community needed seeds and they didn’t even engage subsistence farmers on the issue of the tractor ploughing services that was delayed.”
Mangundu wants the Ncuncuni constituency office to ensure services are brought to the people of Hamweyi.
On her part, Ncuncuni councillor Leopoldine Nseu said there are plans to expand electricity and water pipelines in her constituency.
“Through the Kavango West Regional Council, we have plans to electrify some of our villages in the next five years, which includes Hamweyi village, amongst others, where electricity is only at the school – bu in our plans, we are going to expand it to homesteads,” Nseu said.
Regarding the distance villagers walk to get water, the councillor said there are plans to take water pipelines to where people are residing.
She added that in the bigger regional council’s plan, the constituency has also included water pipelines as a priority.
“As the councillor for this area, I noticed ploughing assistance through the agriculture ministry didn’t go well in the entire constituency and I approached the agriculture extension office at Ncaute village and they briefed me on their challenges, like getting diesel from town to where the tractor was operating,” she said.
“I had to personally assist the office, as they had transport issues to even take seeds to several villages to give to our communities.”
Nseu also told New Era she was aware that just like in many villages in her constituency, many people at Hamweyi village didn’t plough and were also affected by the red locust invasion.
“Some crop fields were also flooded during the rain and crops were damaged. We have the office of the prime minister (OPM) that will assess the this situation and if it is deemed as an emergency, then aid will be given to those affected; some have already started getting this food aid,” she said.