KEETMANSHOOP - Fonteintjie fish farm at Keetmanshoop is grappling with water woes that have compelled it to cram fish in only three of its ponds, as there is not enough water.
The fish farm has over the years relied on a natural underground aquifer for its water supply, as the rich underground water would gush out of the ground and the fish farm would simply connect water pipes to the source to channel the water to the ponds, but things changed when the water stopped coming out recently, leaving the farm with severe water shortages.
The water is mainly used to feed the six fish ponds, and for irrigation purposes, farm manager Peter Simasiku informed New Era although the situation is under control, operations at the farm have been affected, noting that the farm is not operating on full throttle and its ponds are now overstocked due to the present water shortages.
“Right now we put all the fish in only three ponds, the number of fish we have is not the right number as exceeds the recommended number, we have however not really experienced mortalities,” he said.
He linked the water situation to climate change and the lack of rainfall last year, saying not enough rainfall was received to fill up the underground water source and therefore it can be expected that it may have run a little dry, but he said he was assured that the aquifer has not dried up completely but the levels have just dropped, leading to low pressure to pump the water up.
Simasiku said some of the ponds have started cracking, while the situation has also affected their irrigation project, adding that ablution facilities are also not operational due to the water shortages, and he is hopeful that a solution can be found very soon so that things can get back to normal.
“This is usually the time we stock the ponds to get ready for the next harvest season, and another concern is our vegetables and the mangoes which are fruiting and without water they will wilt, so I hope we can resolve this soon,” he said.
He added that another problem the situation has caused is an uproar from some community members who used to fetch water from there, saying the community is cutting the fence because they think the farm have shut down the water on purpose. He pleaded with the community members, saying this is a natural cause and all is being done to remedy the situation.