Villagers of Okatumba West in Opuwo have resorted to drinking unclean water in order to survive.
The councillor of Opuwo Rural constituency, Kazeongere Tjeundo, told New Era on Friday that the water being consumed by the villagers of Okatumba, situated in the far west of Opuwo, is not fit for human consumption – however they do not have much of a choice as they have to survive.
“There is only one borehole in that locality and it does not have a lot of water,” said Tjeundo who spoke about the suffering of the people of Kunene, especially those residing in remote rural parts of the region.
Since the only borehole in that village does not produce enough water for the communities, many in the village have resorted to drinking water from a well, which Tjeundo said “is very dirty and not fit for human consumption”.
The water, according to Tjeundo, has caused many livestock to suffer and in severe cases die.
“People sometimes walk long distances in order to get water from a river,” said the councillor.
Other villages within the Opuwo Rural constituency that are affected by the scarcity of water include Okatumba, Otjatjihete, Okosume, Otjana and Okovatua, said Tjeundo.
In order to address the water problem, which has been made worse by the seven-year drought in the region, Tjeundo suggested that water should be harvested during the rainy season.
“All the rainwater just goes to the sea untapped,” said Tjeundo. He said the Kunene river is also underutilised because it could be used as a source of agriculture for the people of the region.
“We need to start planting our own food and we could draw water from the Kunene river – however our suggestions often fall on deaf ears,” lamented Tjeundo.