Tsumkwe learners in water, electricity crisis

12 Feb 2015 07:10am
OTJIWARONGO, 12 FEB (NAMPA) – School children at the Tsumkwe Senior Secondary School and the Tsumkwe Primary School have been without water and electricity since Sunday.
It is alleged that the solar power system supplying electricity to the Tsumkwe settlement is dysfunctional.
Tsumkwe is situated over 260 kilometres east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.
One of the concerned parents, Josef Ngaone said the situation is getting worse here daily.
The general public is forced to get water from taps connected to some installed stationary water tanks here.
Ngaone further stated that school children are fetching water to drink in containers from the Tsumkwe Community Crafts Centre, the police station or the clinic.
These are the only places being provided with water by the Ministry of Works and Transport.
“The children in the hostel at the Tsumkwe Senior Secondary School walk long distances at night to use the bush when nature calls since their ablution facilities are out of order.
This situation is unacceptable,” Ngaone told Nampa in a telephonic interview on Thursday.
He said nearly 200 learners accommodated at this secondary school’s hostel could face food shortages as their raw food being kept in a cool storeroom has already been spoiled.
The hostel cooks are not cooking on stoves anymore for the children – there is no electricity to cook on, he added.
“The night study sessions have already been suspended,” Ngaone lamented.
Tsumkwe circuit school inspector Alfeus Dax also expressed concern about the situation at these two schools, where the majority of learners are San- speaking Namibians.
He said the crisis started on Sunday when the electricity supply was cut by the Ministry of Works and Transport due to the damaged solar system, which consequently affected the pumping of underground water on which residents survive.
“I already compiled a letter addressed to the Education authorities in Otjiwarongo, informing them of the situation,” Dax said.
According to him, a food-cooling storage system for school children in the hostel should be a high priority, while the ablution facilities as well as a conducive teaching and learning environment have thus been disrupted by the dysfunctional sources of electricity.
“I am really concerned. I just don’t know how to address this situation,” Dax stated.
On her part, the Acting Otjozondjupa Regional Education Director Albertina-Peneyambeko Nangolo said the situation is being attended to.
“We are very sure the problem will be resolved because the broken part of the solar system arrived in Windhoek on Wednesday from South Africa, and before the end of this week, it will be fixed,” she said.
Contacted for comment, a Senior Works Inspector in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Andrie Louw said the crisis started on Sunday after the solar panel system stopped functioning.
He said before Friday, the entire Tsumkwe settlement will have its electricity and water back.
He thus urged the community members to remain calm.