01 Jul 2013 13:40
RUNDU, 01 JUL (NAMPA) - The provision of water to rural areas in the Kavango Region, where residents walk distances of up to 15 kilometres (km) to fetch water, has been described as a crisis by constituency councillors in the region.
Ndiyona Constituency Councillor Hildegard Mangundu said during a consultative meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa at Rundu on Monday some residents in her constituency often walk up to 15km to fetch water.
Kahenge Constituency Councillor Joseph Sikongo on his part told the minister three villages in his constituency have been using and drinking water which is too salty for human consumption, and proposed that water be provided for his area via a pipeline.
The villages in question are in the Ncungu, Mankete and Mutjokotjo areas.
Some other councillors were of the opinion that the drilling of boreholes take too long, much to the frustration of residents who turn to the councillors with their concerns about the water supply services.
?Just imagine old women carrying buckets of water fetched from the river every day, it is really terrible,? said Mukwe Constituency Councillor Kristian Muriki during the meeting with the Agriculture Minister.
Mutorwa responded by saying his ministry has allocated N.dollars 170 million towards the drilling of boreholes throughout the country, of which N.dollars 16 million will be spent in the Kavango Region for the drilling of 30 boreholes.
The Agriculture Minister said the drilling of boreholes should, by 30 September this year, already have commenced.
One of the contributing factors leading to the delay in the drilling of boreholes by Government is the fact that the ministry does not have its own drilling machinery, a situation that forces it to put such projects on tender.
Mutorwa however said the ministry will have its own drills, which is necessary especially during this time of drought, and it intends on purchasing two drilling rigs, two supporting trucks for drilling rigs, two six-by-six water tankers, two diesel tankers, and four flatbed trucks.
?In certain areas, some boreholes will be supplemented with water pipes due to the increasing population in those villages,? the minister noted.
Mutorwa also spoke about the awarding of tenders for the drilling of boreholes throughout the country, saying the awarding process must be fair and must not allow a situation where a company gets more than one tender.
Prior to the consultative meeting, Mutorwa paid his first courtesy call on Kavango Regional Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo since his appointment as Governor earlier this year.