Omusati struggling with lack of water

06 Jan 2018 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 06 JAN (NAMPA) – The Omusati Region is one of the northern regions heavily affected by the disruption of water supply from the Calueque scheme, the main source of water to the north-central parts of the country.
Repair works on two leaking pumping lines at the dam launched by NamWater a few weeks ago, are also set to take longer than anticipated.
In a telephone interview with Nampa on Friday, Omusati Governor, Erginus Endjala said the disruption has led to small scale farmers abandoning their agricultural activities due to water shortage.
“There was no water provision made for farmers while the repair works are underway,” he said.
He added that although NamWater promised to fast track the repair process, it will still take about a month to complete.
Endjala said this was a huge setback for the region as the situation badly impacted crop production.
“Our region depends on agricultural production. We have set up vegetable and crop production schemes that employ a lot of youth in the region.”
According to Endjala, the region has about 70 small scale farmers who solely depend on the Calueque scheme for water.
He also expressed concern that water supply from the Olundjandja dam, which is currently pumping water into the canal as an emergency measure, was not sufficient.
“We have been saying the Olundjandja dam is in need of rehabilitation and at the moment it is almost empty, we are running dry,” Endjala said.
NamWater’s spokesman, John Shigwedha on Friday told this agency that repairs on the first pumping line started on 16 December last year and is still underway.
“Currently the work on the first pumping line is in its third week of repair, with major work on it having been completed already and it is envisaged that in two weeks’ time, this line will be completed,” he said.
This means that work on the first pumping line will be completed in five weeks and not two weeks, as earlier announced by NamWater.
Work on the second line will also only commence once repairs on the first pumping line is completed, Shigwedha confirmed.
He said NamWater was looking at options that would ensure the quickest restoration of normal water supply to northern Namibia.