High salt-content water poses a health concern for Amerika community

13 Mar 2019 17:10pm
By Linea Dishena

AMARIKA, 13 MAR (NAMPA) – Community members of Amarika village in the Omusati Region are concerned about their well-being due to the intake of high salt content water from self-made wells, as the area has no access to potable water.
The village is situated in the Otamanzi constituency, some 73 kilometres from Oshakati with a population of 600 inhabitants.
Speaking to Nampa here on Tuesday, a resident Andreas Martin explained that the wells were dug by the community members to access underground water, due to the unavailability of potable water.
He said due to insufficient rainfall experienced in the area, the current salt content in the water is too high, posing a health hazard.
“The moment you drink that water, few minutes thereafter you will rush to the toilet because of diarrhoea caused by the water,” he added.
Martin said some cattle are dying because they are refusing to drink the high salt content water.
Another resident, Andreas Kayena, explained that the village received a desalination plant in 2010 from the German Government, which supplied underground water that has no salt content to people and cattle.
This plant however broke down and has not been working since 2017, he said.
“When the plant broke down, households would contribute N.dollars 20 each to buy water from the council office, which they would then bring with a truck, however they stopped in mid- 2018 because the truck broke down,” he added.
Councillor for Otamanzi Constituency, Johannes Iyambo upon enquiry on Wednesday explained that the desalination plant could not be fixed as there are no technicians in Namibia to repair it and efforts to get a technician from Germany was not fruitful.
He however pointed out that water pipes are currently being installed from the council offices to the village, so as to provide potable water to the residents.
The project will be completed in June this year.
“Due to the dire situation, I instructed the contractors to fasten the project, so far pipes have been laid underground and the dams will be built soon,” he noted.
Iyambo further clarified that the truck, which used to supply water to the residents of Amarika village, did not break, but council stopped doing so because community members were failing to contribute the N.dollars 20 as required.