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Villagers Demand Clean Drinking Water

Residents of Amaupa and Iikokola villages in the Tsandi constituency in the Omusati region are demanding that the government provides immediate solutions to clean drinking water.

This comes after villagers said they have been waiting for a long time for the government to provide them with clean drinking water.

In June, the residents marched to the office of Omusati regional governor Erginus Endjala, demanding that his office come to their rescue and facilitate the provision of drinking water to their villages.

Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, Paulus Shiweva, a resident of Amaupa said some residents drink dirty saline water from wells.

He said those who do not have wells, travel to Tsandi or Okahao, which is about 50 to 70 kilometres away, to fetch water,” Shiweva said.

Shiweva said although they have demonstrated in hopes of seeing change, the situation has not improved and it gets worse day by day.

“We get water through water tankers and I can tell you that water is never enough. It is not only residents of the two villages but also other surrounding villages. Some even go without getting water,” he said.

Shiweva said there are boreholes in the area, however, he said they are not functional.

“The region has promised to fix them but to date, they are not yet fixed,” he said.

Tsandi constituency councillor Junias Amunkete told The Namibian that water scarcity has not only negatively affected villagers in his constituency but also other parts of the region.

“The situation is not that good. The main cause is low water pressure in our pipelines that results in water scarcity. We hope the line ministry is working on fixing the situation,” Amunkete said.

Amunkete said the residents get water through water tankers as a means of first aid, while a long lasting solution is being made.

“The truth is that the water tankers do not resolve the situation but are just a remedy. It is better than doing nothing to address the issue,” he said.

The councillor said due to an increasing number of inhabitants, residents building new houses find themselves far from water pipelines.

He said that there are boreholes at some villages such as Amaupa, however, residents stole water pumps and solar panels.

“This is the problem we are facing, as well of people stealing government properties. Why steal a solar panel while it helps you get water? People must stop stealing,” he said.

According to Amunkete, his office has submitted a recommendation to the regional leadership suggesting suitable areas where boreholes can be drilled.

“We care about our people. There are plans in place and we are working on a long-term solution. We are only pleading to our people to stop stealing water pumps and join us in solving issues and not creating problems,” Amunkete said.

Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform spokesperson Jona Musheko said the ministry is aware of the situation and is currently serving the community with water tankers.

Musheko said currently residents are getting water from a borehole for animals only.

He said in the long term, solutions are that the ministry is busy with consultations for the development of a Ruacana South pipeline project that will pass through to Kunene, Omakange and Itananga and it will distribute to all villages around, including Amaupa village.

“Consultation focuses on the number of houses, domestic animals and people. This will enable us to set up water facilities that speak to the demand of both livestock and people,” Musheko said.

Source : Namibian