4 October 2017

Namibia: Council, Villagers Argue Over Dam

Omuthiya — Community members from villages surrounding Omuthiya are at loggerheads with the Omuthiya Town Council for drawing water from a community earth dam.

The dam is within the town boundaries.

The issue started when council permitted a local contractor to draw water from the dam to be used in the construction of a soccer field.

This did not go down well with the community members, who raised concerns that this move would leave their livestock without water, as it might not last until the rainy season.

According to a community activist, Moses Amukoto, it was inconsiderate for the town council to allow someone to draw water from the dam without consulting the communities whose animals drink from the dam.

"We were not consulted in this matter. To our surprise, we only saw a tanker drawing water. It is a very big tanker, and we are worried that if they continue to draw water our animals might not have enough water," he stressed.

Amukoto added that if the contractor needed water, he would have to pay a levy for their benefit. He, however, acknowledged that the dam is indeed within the town lands but argued that this was the only source of water for the animals in the area. Amukoto, who was in company of the area headman and some community members, vowed that they would not allow the contractor to draw water from the earth dam.

Meanwhile, Simon Nghulondo, a representative of the town council, last week met the community and apologised for having acted in that manner without consulting them. "We met with the community and apologised, and asked if they could allow us to fetch water from the dam. This water is for development purposes, we are busy constructing a sports field," stated Nghulondo

Previously, the contractor used ground water from Omuthiya. However, Nghulondo explained that the contractor could no longer use the water because it is salty and cannot be used on the layer the contractor is working on.

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