Lack of resources hampers new water infrastructure

27 October 2020 | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

Despite limited resources to develop water infrastructure in the Otjozondjupa Region, deputy minister of agriculture, water and forestry Anna Shiweda has assured communities that the ministry will continue to look for the lifegiving liquid.

She was speaking at the handover of a solar water pump and infrastructure to restore a borehole in Ombuu.

The pump and infrastructure were sponsored by the Road Fund Administration (RFA) and the Roads Authority (RA).

Shiweda said following the declaration of the drought as a state of emergency last year, the ministry and other stakeholders implemented measures to mitigate the negative impacts on affected and vulnerable communities.

The RFA and RA jointly donated N$12 million, of which N$8 million was allocated to restore 41 boreholes in 10 regions across the country by installing solar water pumps and water tanks.

‘Could not come at a better time’

She said the resources availed by the two companies could not have come at a better time when government resources are limited and overstretched due to many other national challenges, including the impact of the coronavirus.

“During the current medium-term expenditure framework, the government has prioritised water provision as one of the important development programmes.”

According to studies, Otjozondjupa is one of the regions that is endowed with abundant quality underground water resources, Shiweda said.

“While government is committed to develop these water resources in order to ensure adequate water supply and security in the region, our efforts are being hampered by limited resources, which, in turn, negatively affect the development of new water schemes and the operation of the technical maintenance teams of the ministry.”

Committed

She, however, said despite these challenges, the ministry continues to be committed to looking for resources for the implementation of water projects in the region.

At the moment, the ministry supplies water to Otjozondjupa communities through boreholes, pipelines, reservoirs and earth dams.

As part of government’s drought interventions, 16 boreholes were drilled during the 2018/19 drought, of which three have already been installed with the required equipment.

Additionally, five boreholes were rehabilitated while another five were installed with water extraction equipment during the 2015/16 drought season.

“This borehole at Ombuu is one of the five boreholes that were revamped and installed with high-quality water pumps and solar panels,” Shiweda said.

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