Engombe gets first water, Oponona to wait

08 July 2019 | Local News

Drought-stricken farmers in the Uuvudhiya area have finally received some relief as the water that was initially pumped from the Olushandja Dam in the Omusati Region, has started to reach their livestock. Water utility NamWater recently announced that it was spending over N$2 million to pump water from Olushandja to Lake Oponona in the Uuvudhiya constituency of Oshana Region.

However, the water will only reach farmers in the Engombe area and those living close to Lake Oponona will have to wait a little longer for the water to reach their livestock. Uuvudhiya constituency councillor Amutenya Ndahafa told Namibian Sun the water will reach Engombe, where work on the rehabilitation of the NamWater canal has ended. According to Ndahafa, the N$2 million spent on pumping water from Olushandja is only enough until Engombe and not for the main catchments of Oponona and Omadhiya.

“I am very happy to hear that farmers have already started driving their cattle to the canal for water. NamWater has done a great job to respond to calls by farmers to pump water from the Olushandja Dam in Omusati to Uuvudhiya, so their livestock can be saved,” he said.

“Many earthen dams along the way have been filled and we are hopeful we will keep water for a longer period of time. This will also mean that the grass along the canal will grow, which will be good for the livestock.

“Engombe is still far from where there is a good grazing and thousands of cattle are there. Our wish is for the water to go until Lake Oponona and Omadhiya, but we understand that the money that was made available will only enable water to reach Engombe. We are informed that a new quotation has been prepared to take water from Engombe to Oponona which is about 30 kilometres away.” NamWater spokesperson Johannes Shigwedha could not be reached for comment at the weekend. Earlier this month, Shigwedha told Namibian Sun that stakeholders' meetings in Oshakati and Outapi were conducted in May and funds were mobilised to pump water from Olushandja.