19 September 2017

Namibia: Water for Livestock to Dry Up Soon in Northern Regions

Photo: Rodney Rascona
(File photo).

Ongwediva — Despite the good rains received this year, farmers in the northern regions are likely to start feeling the pinch of the dry season, as the water pans and other sources edge towards the brink of drying up.

In Eastern Ohangwena area, rainwater has already dried up leaving people and their livestock struggling to find fresh water for survival. Residents in the villages of Oshikunde, Okongo, Omundaungilo and Epembe now solely depend on borehole for water.

The chairperson of Ohangwena Regional Council, who is also the chairperson of the Disaster Risk Management Committee, Erickson Ndawanifa, said the rest of the region was still surviving on rainwater in the earth dams, but the temporary solution was short-lived as many earth dams are beginning to dry up.

"We have boreholes set up in the eastern side [of Ohangwena], but they just need to be fully equipped, so that they can relieve the situation," Ndawanifa said.

The chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council, who also serves as as the chairperson of the Disaster Risk Management Committee in the region, Modestus Amutse, said Omusati has improved water supply in areas where there was often water scarcity, such as Okahao and Otamanzi.

Despite that, he said water was poised to become scarce as the collected rainwater is also likely to run dry before the end of the next rainy season. "There is water at the moment, but it is not sufficient and if it does not rain soon, we will be without water in October," Amutse said.

He added that although there are pipeline in some areas, there is not sufficient pressure to pump water to the people in need, hence he appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to render a hand to the affected communities.

Chairperson of Oshana Regional Council - also the chairperson of the Disaster Risk Management Committee in that region - Hannu Kapenda said the region has sufficient water to last until the next rainy season. "If it rains well during the next rainy season, we will not experience drought for some time," Kapenda said.

While the conditions have improved somewhat compared to previous years, people in some areas were still struggling to secure water for their livestock. Many are forced to feed their livestock with tap water, thus piling up water bills, because the nearby water sources have dried up and some now have to travel vast distances to secure water.

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