Oshikoto residents camp at traditional wells to get water

ONAMBIGA: The councillors of the Eengodi and Okankolo constituencies in the Oshikoto Region have expressed concern about the ongoing struggle of residents to access water, due to its scarcity in their constituencies.

Eengodi constituency councillor Protasiu Neshuku in an interview with Nampa on Monday said the constituency, comprising 61 villages with around 71 to 105 households, is in dire need of water.

“People do not sleep at home anymore as they are forced to go and look for water for their animals and themselves. They walk long distances to get water while some sleep at traditional wells where they wait for water to accumulate in the wells before collecting it,” Neshuku said.

He said the water they do obtain is however of poor quality as it is too salty and heavily contaminated. He called on the government to act by transporting water to the people before someone dies due to a lack of water.

Okankolo constituency councillor, Hans Nambodi said the government “is failing to provide water to people in the region.”

“The water is not fit for human consumption as there are reports of people complaining of diarrhoea in my constituency,” he said.

Nambodi noted that some schools have suspended their feeding programmes and study sessions due to the scarcity of water at the schools.

“Sixty-five per cent of the population of the constituency is experiencing water shortages, especially those in remote areas,” he said.

He added that the situation is so dire that some people spend their nights waiting at traditional wells to collect even a small amount of water.

Some children can no longer attend school because they are required to spend nights at the traditional wells.

“We are urging our government to bring us water with trucks before we die of thirst. They should also drill boreholes for us,” said Nambodi.

Efforts to get a response from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform’s head of rural water supply and sanitation in Oshikoto, Stevenson Tuukondjele, proved futile, as his phone went unanswered.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency