By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) northern water supply is faced with numerous challenges hindering the flow of water supply to the residents in the highly populated region.
The water canal that transports water from Omusati region up to the purification plant in Oshakati is old, thus the infrastructure continuously breaks and delays water delivery to most parts of the region.
Johannes Shigwedha, the public relations officer of NamWater said that the areas that are highly affected by water supply irregularities are Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Kavango west, Kavango east and Zambezi regions.
“But there are also deliberate breakages where some of the thousands of villagers living along the canal break it purposefully to siphon off water for their gardens and for other domestic use. Furthermore, villagers openly draw water from the canal for bathing, washing trucks with dangerous chemicals into the water while others water their livestock from the same source,” he said.
Human and animal drowning are the major challenges and this far, about 10 people have drowned into the canal since January of which five are said to be children.
“Another challenge is that when the canal breaks, a large body of water is released, often at high velocity into the villages destroying homesteads and domestic animals. Obviously human life is also at risk during floods caused by the canal breaks. In terms of operation, it is very difficult to stop the water flows during breaks,” said Shigwedha.
Shigwedha therefore urged adults to ensure that they supervise their children by not allowing them to fetch water from the canal, drink, and swim or try to cross it. He said that NamWater is considering looking at how it can effectively, efficiently and sufficiently supply water from the Calueque Dam to the northern areas given the condition of the canal and the increased population of the north.
Efforts by the police to prevent people and animals from drowning indicate that they habitually chase away children from the canal, however to no avail.
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