Getting Fresh Water to Kavango Residents


By Chrispin Inambao RUNDU A little-known US-funded charity ‘By Provision’ is involved in the drilling of several boreholes, free of charge, for communities resident around churches in Kavango. Since the exercise started recently, Gary Wilkins and his wife Elizabeth with the assistance of Fernando Ndala, a Nazarene pastor at Rundu, managed to drill five boreholes at churches in the Gciriku and at Mbunza in the Kavango Region. Equipped with one pick-up towing a trailer laden with the tools of their trade consisting of a diesel-driven air compressor, a hydraulic engine, a blue 250-litre water tank, Elizabeth said the husband-and-wife team uses a water-method to soften selected sites. She said they have the capacity to drill to depths of up to 30 metres with the equipment mounted on the trailer, depending on location and the groundwater table. After which the compressor comes in handy to get out lose earth and other resultant debris out of the hole. Aided by a hydro-geological map from the Namibia Scientific Society, the couple and the pastor have found the exercise much easier than when they were operating in neighbouring Angola where they were able to drill 53 boreholes in Kunene Province. They said the watering spots drilled in Angola on average serve up to 800 people due to the relatively high population density in that country compared to Namibia. While in Kavango, they intend to drill up to 15 boreholes in an exercise that takes ten days, including the installation of hand pumps and water chlorination. They said the region has quality underground water and that the hand pumps are ideal because they are durable and are easy to maintain. “It is a ten-day process from drilling to installing the hand pumps,” explained she. Elizabeth, who has a doctorate in literature, says the provision of clean water to rural communities, is crucial because it is through this medium that diseases such as polio are spread. Their project has the full blessing of the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN). It appears the boreholes are coming in handy because rural communities in this region travel long distances to get water because some of them live in areas without piped water.