By Hileni Nembwaya
MANY villagers at Epembe, Oshikunde and Okongo constituencies in Ohangwena region have resorted to drinking and cooking with dirty and polluted water.
According to the villagers, scarcity and pollution of groundwater is becoming a major concern in these constituencies where Government through constituency offices acquired boreholes from Roads Authority after the completion of the Eenhana – Okongo road.
The contaminated water is used for cooking, washing, bathing and drinking.
“In those constituencies, groundwater quality is not fit for human consumption due to higher level of arsenic, fluoride, iron or nitrates. We are forced to take polluted water which causes stomach infections,” narrated one disgruntled resident, Maria Nghitwilepo from Epembe.
The contamination is said to be caused by poor sanitary protection at the top of the boreholes.
The DTA of Namibia, regional coordinator for Ohangwena region, Hidipo Hamata said that access to quality water is a key to economic prosperity and better living standards.
“Businesses and schools thrive when people come to work on time and not have to spend all morning looking for water. Groundwater is playing an ever important role for drinking water supplies, particularly in rural areas,” said Hamata.
DTA is therefore calling on Government to clean and rehabilitate those boreholes acquired from RA and those drilled in the 90s, for safe drinking water by people residing in the affected rural areas.
Hamata furthermore said that there is a need for professionalism and vigilance to ensure that infrastructure is built to last and that boreholes provision is cost-effective.
“It is our responsibility as a party to make sure that Government delivers good service to the electorates and they are taken good care of. We must remember that, lack of water means no economic activities will happen and the people will be in constant poverty”.
Leopold Niipare, the director of rural water supply and sanitation coordination in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry said that currently the Government is busy developing a number of boreholes at Oshandi in Ohangwena region, while bulk water pipes would also be connected at Epembe constituency.
Minor boreholes are also expected to be drilled at some parts of the region for aquifer management.
Efforts to get hold of the regional governor, Usko Nghaamwa proved futile.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015