Plans are underway to desalinate the much renowned recreational salt boreholes in Omuthiya, or rather fountains as referred to by the locals, to be used for agricultural purposes apart from for leisure.
The fountains, which are two in total, produce salt water all year round that is not safe for human consumption, although cattle and wild animals survive on the water. The water flows into a dam through a channel of approximately 300 metres.
The plan was revealed by David Israel, Omuthiya Town Council’s local economic development planner who stated that the site, which has been a recreational attraction for local people and those from afar, will now see the water being desalinated and used for agricultural purposes because of its abundance.
The fountains are situated approximately 15 kilometres outside town toward the direction of Oshivelo, and a mere 17 kilometres into Etosha.
“We want to use this natural resource to our benefit, that’s why we want to venture into agriculture considering the looming drought. Thus this could be the only solution as the water is readily available,” said the optimistic Israel.
He could not say when the plan will be realised nor be precise on how much it will cost the council when it embarks on the town’s life changing investment.
“The council is determined to develop this area – through this we want to elevate employment creation. The council will not stop there, but also venture into horticulture while using the same water from the fountains,” added Israel.
The horticulture idea could become a reality as some fish species could be seen in the shallow salt water, which shows the water is usable once treated.
In addition Israel said the council will soon finalise the planning phase to demarcate the developed recreational site in order to have room for construction of tourism facilities in a coordinated manner.
“Once this phase is done investors will be invited to develop the area, by constructing accommodation facilities and enhancing what is already there. With the site located strategically in the vicinity of Etosha National park, we are hopeful this will turn into a larger tourism attraction for the region and town,” said Israel.