Omaruru prioritises water over Oasis Festival

12 Sep 2016 17:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 12 SEP (NAMPA) - The annual Omaruru Oasis Festival (OOF) will not take place next month because the town council has decided to rather spend the money on the current water crisis.
Town Mayor Hendrina Gebhardt confirmed to Nampa on Monday that the about N.dollars 300 000 will be spent on the town’s water supply in the light of Namibia’s drought situation.
Financed by the local authority, the OOF is a trade fair for small business owners in Omaruru and surrounding areas to market and sell their products.
Some of the local producers of wine, water-based beverages and chocolates that are based in Omaruru also use the festival to market their products.
Other activities of the OOF regularly include a mining seminar, boxing matches and performances by local cultural groups and musicians.
Gebhardt said the council is busy researching the Omaruru River aquifer’s water levels to ensure a sustainable supply and use of water.
The mayor said the council has hired a private company to conduct the research and inform them of how much water is underground and whether the aquifer is fed by rain or underground water sources.
“The results of the research are expected next week and once we have that we can make informed decisions.”
The Omaruru Municipality in April this year introduced water use restrictions as a precautionary measure in response to the national drought being experienced in Namibia.
Gerhardt said this is to ensure that the town’s water supply is not depleted.
Omaruru gets water from nine boreholes along the Omaruru River, of which two have run dry.
The restrictions commenced on 28 April, with water only supplied to residents from 05h00 to 08h30; 12h30 to 14h30; and 17h00 to 22h00.
“With the current drought, we want to first make sure how much water is in the aquifer so that we can utilise it responsibly. We do not want to be caught off guard and not have any water for our people,” said the mayor.
Omaruru has a population of more than 14 000 people.