Namibia: Drought Emergency Boreholes On Track

30 March 2020

Rundu — The Kavango East regional council has achieved a 40% achievement on the target of 20 boreholes drilled and installed through the N$11.3 million drought relief emergency funds from the prime minister's office.

The budget was allocated in November and it is meant to get water to rural areas within the region where there is water scarcity.

"Through contractors, we are in the process of drilling 20 new boreholes and due to the budget, we will only do installation on 10 of the new boreholes. We will install tanks, solar or generators and water drinking taps for livestock at selected rural areas," said the chief regional officer Ludwig Thikusho.

With that budget, the council was supposed to rehabilitate 10 water points as well as cleaning of boreholes that have been clogged or dysfunctional due to a dirty solar system that is not generating power.

"Due to the emergency, the council tried to speed up the process by skipping some procurement procedures like the period of one month of advertising a tender to appoint contractors and took restricted bidding. We have already appointed contractors," Thikusho noted.

According to Thikusho, the regional council has done site handovers, and gave purchase orders to contractors who are already on site doing the work.

"Between the month of March and May, they should be done with the drilling and installing of these boreholes. The drought relief programme was supposed to end at the beginning of March but due to technical reasons, this borehole project is taking time," said the chief regional officer.

Although the drought relief period has come to an end, Thikusho said the money budgeted for this project will not be returned to treasury because they have committed the amount.

"We have signed contracts with contractors and they are busy with the work. We have also bought materials for the in-house rehabilitation of boreholes and we have not yet paid a cent to these contractors until we see the progress," he stated.

Last year June, the regional council also received some money from the office of the prime minister through the drought relief emergency fund to rehabilitated some of old boreholes in the rural areas. "We got N$3 million, together with our regional councillors and the rural water supply directorate, we identified boreholes to be rehabilitated," stated Thikusho.

"We also attended to some boreholes that were standing incomplete due to lack of funds, since they have been drilled already and only lacked some implements like reservoir tanks, solar pannels and so on. It was executed successfully by December," he continued.

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