Communities along Iitapa-Okeeholongo get clean water

09 Feb 2019 10:30am
IITAPA, 09 FEB (NAMPA) – Villagers along the 60-kilometre (km) Iitapa-Okeeholongo water pipeline of the Okahao Constituency in the Omusati Region on Friday celebrated the official opening of the said pipeline, ending a 28-year absence of clean water in the area.
Acting Executive Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Joseph Hailwa officially inaugurated the pipeline at Iitapa village, pointing out that the government invested N.dollars 65 million for its construction.
Hailwa at the commissioning said that at the independence of the country, clean water supply coverage was mainly limited to urban centres and a few rural villages.
“However, due to the aggressive approach of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry we now proudly state that 85 per cent of our communities can access clean water within a reasonable distance,” he added.
Hailwa noted that Okahao is one of the constituencies in the country with a large area of the far rural-based communities, who have been relying mainly on boreholes and wells for water for their own consumption and their livestock.
“It is on this basis that the past some six years, it was decided to include the Iitapa-Okeeholongo pipeline in the development projects of the Omusati Region,” Hailwa cited.
He said construction of the pipeline was completed last year and the villagers were in the meantime educated on how to handle the pipeline facilities.
Hailwa urged the villagers to safeguard the facilities, avoid water wastage, refrain from irresponsible handling of water taps and to pay for their water consumption on time.
Headman of Iitapa, Simeon Amadhila told Nampa after the event that motorists fetch clean water from Okahao (some 40km away) and travel to his village to sell 20 or 25 litres of water for N.dollars 15 and N.dollars 20, respectively.
“Some people collect bundles of grass from the field to buy water and this has been going on for years,” Amadhila explained.
Also speaking at the event, Omusati regional councillor for the Okahao Constituency, Leonard Shikulo and senior traditional councillor of the Ongandjera Traditional Authority, Sion Sheehama applauded the government for ending the villagers’ suffering of not having clean water.
“Most of our communities are tasting clean water for the first time here today, since the independence of the country almost 29 years ago,” Shikulo stated.
He singled out Epumbu, Oshilulu A and B, Omukondo A and B, Onanyanga, Iitapa, Okeeholongo, Onambandje, Okakoto and Otoongo as the beneficiary villages.
The water supply is provided to the homesteads of villagers who already applied for this service.