9 April 2019

Namibia: Lack of Budget Hinders Water Provision in Ohangwena

Ongwediva — The lack of budget in Ohangwena Region is hindering water provision, particularly to the much drought-stricken constituencies that to date have no water pipelines.

The eastern part of the Ohangwena Region, which includes Epembe, Omundaungilo, Oshikunde and Okongo, is without potable water.

Public Relations Officer at Ohangwena Regional Council Panduleni Nepembe said the council has plans to install at least 40 boreholes, particularly in Okongo Constituency to avert the water crisis but there is currently no budget.

In addition to the boreholes, the council further plans to put up short water pipelines in other seven constituencies, however, it is not possible at the moment because of the constraint budget.

There are also further plans to put up 31 earth dams and replace five boreholes across the region.

"Council is hard at work to see how best to solve the water crisis in the region because those who are without water trek long distances or are left to drink unsafe water," Nepembe said.

Despite the shortage of funds, Nepembe said the council is doing its best to ensure that the affected people get water, adding that the council is in the process to advertise tenders to drill 16 boreholes in Oshikunde and Okongo constituencies.

Apart from the plan in place, the council has installed 18 boreholes in the drought stricken constituencies.

Seven other boreholes were drilled, but are not in use, as they are not fit for human consumption.

Nepembe said other challenges experienced by the council to deliver water to its community include dilapidated water infrastructures, slow pace of procurement and budgetary constraints among others.

Moving forward, the council will further look into constructing a bulk water pipeline from Eenhana to Mpungu Constituency to serve the masses between the two areas. The council is further looking into the possibilities of tapping water from the Ohangwena aquifer to supplement water to the eastern side of the region.

The region is also exploring possibilities of tapping water from the Kavango River and to decentralise finances to the region.

At the end of last year, a motion which is currently being implemented was tabled to allow unused water tanks across the region to be transferred to the areas which are without water.

In total, 964 water points were put up, with at least 4278 private off-takes since 2014 in the region.

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