Ondjiva — The laying of the first stone and the allocation of the works to the contractor for the start of structural projects turned to the fight against the drought hitting the southern Cunene Province happens this Friday in Cufo locality.
With this act, that will be chaired by the minister of Energy and Waters, João Baptista Borges, it will begin the construction of a water catchment in Cunene River, pumping system and the water pipe from Cafu to Cuamato.
The project will allow the water pipe to link from Cunene's River, at Cafu's locality, to the Shana zone and the Cuamato and Namacunde localities.
The construction of two dams - Calucuve and Ndúe - assessed at two hundred million dollars, a financing that was approved by the Angolan President, João Lourenço, lastApril, is also part of the programme.
More than 800,000 people expectant
The more than 800,000 people currently affected by severe drought in the Province of Cunene, are placing great hope in the dam construction and water transfer project. As a starting point, the Executive initially defined the construction of the water transfer system from the Cunene River to Cuamato and Namacunde.
The system will have a pumping station of 2,000 cubic metres per second, a 57 km pipeline and 10 chimpacas (water boreholes).
The Calucuve dam will be 19 metres high, 1,829 long and 100 wide at the upper and lower sections, with a storage capacity of 100 million cubic meters of water from the Cuvelai Basin. The dam is to benefit more than 80,000 people and 182,000 heads of cattle.
On its turn, the Ndúe dam, to be built in the Municipality of Cuanhama, will be 26 metres high, 1,288mt long and a storage volume of 145 million cubic metres of water from the Cuando River. It will include 15 chimpacas benefiting 55,000 people, 600,000 heads of cattle and a 9,200-hectare agricultural field in Luapua, Londe and Embundo. Once these works have been completed, the people of Cunene, who, since October 2018, have been living the harsh reality of the lack of water and food, due to the lack of rain, will have a better situation and will resume their most practiced activity in that region, farming.
The drought in Cunene
The Cunene drought is a cyclic phenomenon that takes one back to 1995, since that year every five years that area faces breaks on the raining season, alternating with periods of floods.
It was registered droughts in 2008/2011 and 2017 dislodging more than 400 families, who at the moment are relocated in Cashila III and Ekuma Nahuma neighbourhoods, around Ondjiva, the capital of Cunene.
This drought is the most devastating one in the last 24 year for the province.
After 12 months of drought (which started in October 2018), the phenomenon severely affected 880,172 people and over one million heads of cattle and goats, killing 30,000 heads of cattle. At least 99,000 peasants were left without harvests on the 205,000 hectares prepared for the 2018/2019 agricultural season. In the educational field, 413 schools were damaged and at least 900 students dropped out to accompany their parents in transhumance, compromising 30% of school achievement in rural areas.