Omatjete water crisis declared an emergency

21 Jan 2016 16:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 21 JAN (NAMPA) - The water crisis at the Omatjete settlement in the Erongo Region is receiving serious attention from the regional council.
“We have not had water for the past four days. As we speak there is no water, not even a single drop,” Fabianus Hirikee Uaseuapuani, the chairperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority which presides over Omatjete, told Nampa on Thursday.
The settlement has been struggling with a water shortage since December last year as two of the three electronically powered boreholes supplying water to the settlement are broken.
Chief Regional Officer Natalia /Goagoses confirmed to Nampa upon enquiry Thursday that her office is acting on the crisis.
“We declared the situation an emergency because water is life. I am going to dispatch a contractor to go there by latest this week Friday. This will not go through the normal procurement procedures because people need water urgently,” she said.
She said the contractor will clean up and repair another broken borehole at the settlement so residents can have two working boreholes by next week to ease the situation while they are waiting for the remaining two to be fixed.
The regional council’s development planner, Deodat van Wyk on Thursday said two broken borehole pumps were taken in for repairs last week.
“The pumps are expected to be ready by next week. They will then be attached to the boreholes and will start pumping water, so we can guarantee that the situation will be back to normal in the course of next week,” Van Wyk said.
He further stated that the regional council is also exploring an interim measure - supplying water to residents by tankers from Friday.
In addition, plans are afoot to carry out a feasibility study to determine whether more boreholes can be drilled to ensure an adequate water supply for the settlement in future.
“The Omatjete population has grown so much that the initial water supply system has become insufficient, so we are looking at expanding the supply by way of extra boreholes,” Van Wyk said.
He could however not say how many boreholes are to be added.
There are approximately 4 000 residents, including children boarding at the Omatjete Primary School.
Omatjete is located some 60 kilometres west of Omaruru in the Daures Constituency.