Erongo CRO wants livestock out of Omatjete

25 Jan 2016 14:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 25 JAN (NAMPA) - The ongoing water crisis at Omatjete prompted the Erongo Regional Council to request the Zeraeua Traditional Authority to remove livestock from the settlement.
There are more than 1 000 goats and heads of cattle sharing water with the community, school children and patients at the clinic in Omatjete.
“I kindly asked the traditional authority to help us and Government by removing livestock from Omatjete. They agreed to inform the community about this,” the Chief Regional Officer in Erongo, Natalia /Goagoses said.
She told Nampa on Friday that she requested the removal of the livestock from the settlement as the council is only responsible for supplying water to humans.
Two of the three boreholes’ pumps are broken since December 2015, leaving Omatjete with only one working borehole, but such water is not enough for the community and animals.
Some residents have gone for four days without a single drop of water, as the little water pumped by the single borehole cannot reach everyone.
/Goagoses said animals should be moved to communal land to drink from community boreholes, which are under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
She said the regional council went the extra mile to provide water for the animals at Omatjete in the past, but this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the increasing population at the settlement.
The growing population is putting strain on the boreholes to the point of them running dry and pumps being broken.
“Omatjete is not yet proclaimed a settlement but we are preparing to proclaim it very soon, hence the animals must move”.
The CRO also requested the traditional leadership to urge community members to stop connecting extra pipes to the main pipe that supplies water to the reservoir.
This is because some community members had connected tanks at their houses to the main water supply, even though their homes are already connected to the main supply.
This creates problems because some people have surplus water, while others have little or no water.
/Goagoses promised that the current lack of water at Omatjete will be addressed in the course of next week as the broken borehole pumps have been sent in for repairs.
The regional council’s development planner, Deodat van Wyk, on Friday added that he identified 11 illegal tanks connected to the system to divert water to houses where animals drink.
This is despite troughs being provided for all animals.
Chairperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, Fabianus Hirikee Uaseuapuani on Saturday confirmed that the CRO had asked that animals to be moved.
“I agree with her because we want development, which is only possible when the area is proclaimed,” he said.
Uaseuapuani, however, said removing livestock from Omatjete cannot be done immediately as it is a process.
He said the communal land is already overcrowded and overgrazed, therefore moving livestock from one area to another will create tension amongst farmers as they prefer to stay where they are now.
Some might also not accept additional animals being brought to their areas as they fear competition for pasture.
“We are carefully considering the way to do it, but it is very tough. We will speak to the community to try to find a solution,” said Uaseuapuani.