16 March 2017

Namibia: Rainwater Harvesting Bears Fruit

RAINWATER harvesting initiated by the Oike community project between 2009 and 2010, has benefited about 30 farmers in the Oshana region.

This community-based climate change adaptation project has an office at Onkani Village in the Uuvudhiya constituency (Oshana region) where it trained local farmers in rainwater harvesting. Four primary schools - Onkani Combined School, Ondjungulume Primary School, Uuvudhiya Primary School and Ndeutal Angolo Primary School - also benefited from the project.

The deputy chairperson of the project, Ottilie Hamaambo, told The Namibian at Onkani recently that they got N$780 000 from the Small Grants Programme (SGP-Namibia) for this activity.

She said harvested rain-water was used for small-scale household gardening.

"This is a pilot project and results were very good,"said Hamaambo. She said 30 farmers and the four schools were each provided with 5 000-litre water containers.

"Water harvested at the schools is meant for drinking and for small school gardens,"she added.

She said good results were also recorded for their followed-up project on conservation tillage, which was also funded by SGP in 2014 for US$39 000.

"This was a major success as we worked with extension officers in the area," she said, adding that they trained 155 farmers on conservation tillage in the area.

Hamaambo explained that conservation tillage uses a tractor with a ripper which goes deep into the soil, bringing out nutrients to roots crops when planted.

She said although funding for these activities has come to an end, farmers are urged to continue these activities and turn them into business ventures.

Oike Project also built a farmers market called Pandeni Amakutsi Open Market for N$125 000 last year, where local farmers can sell their produce.

The market has administration, cooling, campsite and show facilities for farmers to market their products.

Oike is one of the six community projects under the Iipumbu ya Tshilongo conservancy covering part of Oshana and Omusati regions.

Another project under the conservancy landscape is Otshiku Tshiithilonde community forest micro-drip irrigation initiative.

The project produces vegetables for sale but, it also has a nursery for trees for reforestaion.

At Okathakeegolo village, the Uuvudhiya Agricultural Youth Project has started in earnest.

"We will be somewhere by the end of this month," said the project manager Absalom Iitamalo.

Three greenhouses were erected at the project which will produce fruits and vegetables. Iitamalo said they already had an agreement with Amta to buy their produce.

The SPG has funded this project to the amount of US$42 000.

The Iipumbu ya Tshilongo conseravancy was gazetted on 25 May 2015 with the aim to protect the natural resources, wildlife and wetlands in its landscape, said the conservancy chairperson, Sylvanus Shilumbu.

Shilumbu said they also built the conservancy office at Eengombe growth point in Uuvudhiya constituency. The SGP - Namibia funded the Iipumbu ya Tshilongo Conservancy and the projects under its landscape, through the Community Development and Knowledge Management (Comdeks) for the Global Environment Facility's Satoyama Initiative for US$224 909.

The Uuvudhiya Farmers Association is another project funded under Comdeks to harvestv rainwater through the digging of earth dams.

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