Omatjete hit by water shortage

12 Jan 2016 09:30am
SWAKOPMUND, 11 JAN (NAMPA) - Residents of Omatjete settlement in the Erongo Region had a dry Christmas and New Year, as their broken boreholes are not yet fixed.
Omatjete is located some 60 km West of Omaruru in the Daures Constituency.
Fabianus Hirikee Uaseuapuani, the Chairperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, which presides over Omatjete, told Nampa Monday that two of the three electrically powered boreholes are broken.
“The water shortage persisted since Christmas and people can go for three days without water. At the moment, there is only one borehole which is working, while the other two are out of order,” Uaseuapuani said.
There are approximately 4 000 residents including children boarding at Omatjete Primary School.
“There is a delay in fixing our water supply after we reported to the Daures Constituency office through the Okombahe settlement office in December. But until now, nothing has been done,” said the traditional leader.
He said at first, they thought the boreholes dried up but later established that the electrical pumps are out of order.
He said the current situation with one operational borehole is that it takes three to four days to fill up the reservoir that distributes water to the whole settlement.
Residents only have enough water once the reservoir is full.
“We also have a clinic where patients need water to drink and clean wounds for instance, so if there is no water our people really suffer,” Uaseuapuani said.
The Erongo Regional Council is responsible for the boreholes and Uaseuapuani said Daures Councillor, Joram Kennedy !Haoseb must come to Omatjete to collect input from the community.
In response, !Haoseb confirmed the situation but said he only heard about it last week.
The politician said he sent a team on Monday to investigate and compile a report on the situation for consideration by his office.
“There is a complaints register that I introduced at my office for the community to use. We record their needs and complaints and address them based on urgency.”
The team sent on Monday will also assess damages caused by a rainstorm during the last week of December to the roofs of 31 houses in Omatjete area.
Three villages were affected - Ovihitua, where the roofs of 15 houses were blown off; Otjozondjou, where 10 roofs were damaged, and Omataazu, where six roofs were damaged.
The drought-stricken area of Omatjete received 40 millimetres of rain over three consecutive days, which damaged houses.
Responding to Uaseuapuani’s remarks that he must hold meetings with the community of Omatjete, !Haoseb said it is already part of his plan.
“Soon I will undertake a familiarisation tour of the constituency, which also includes Omatjete, so nobody will be left out”.
Also confirming the Omatjete water crisis, Senior Administrative Officer at the Daures Constituency office, Leonard Koko assured this agency that the boreholes will be fixed before the end of this week.
He however said the problem with the boreholes is the electrical adaptors, which need to be replaced, but not the pumps as the traditional authority alleges.
“We already ordered the adaptors from Swakopmund, so we will fix the boreholes as soon as possible.”
Koko advised the traditional authority of Omatjete to urge community members to stop connecting extra pipes to the main pipe that supplies water to the reservoir.
He said some community members had hijacked the piping system and connected the tanks at their houses to the main supply, even though their homes are already connected to the main supply.
“This creates problems because now some people have more water than others.”
Uaseuapuani concurred, adding the matter will continue receiving attention.