Ten villages in the Ndiyona Constituency, who previously depended on the crocodile-infested Kavango River for water, sang and ululated on Tuesday to celebrate the commissioning of the water pipeline that now brings clean drinking water to their villages scattered along a stretch of 24 km along the river.
Minister of Agriculture Water and Forestry John Mutorwa commissioned the pipeline. “The villages that now benefit from clean water are Shamvhura, Shinyungwe (North), Mbwata, Livuyi, Korokoko, Mashivi, Mukuvi, Mbambi, Manga and Shamangorwa. Potable, safe drinking water is now available,” he said.
Construction was completed in November 2014. “I thank the colleagues in the Directorate of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination (DWSSC), both at regional level and head office, for your committed, dedicated, professional hard work and perseverance that resulted in the success of the water project we are commissioning today,” Mutorwa added.
Over the years the villagers depended on the river for drinking water, amongst other needs, which was highly risky, as crocodiles are a menace and regularly attack villagers.
“The complaints of the people, particularly those of the Korokoko village, did not fall on deaf ears. The government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry empathetically heard your cries,” Mutorwa said.
The Shamvhura-Shamangorwa water supply project pumps water from a “strong borehole”, located at Shamvhura village and pumps it through pipes to a tower that has been erected close to the borehole from where the water is pumped to various waterpoints at the ten villages.
At the same event the traditional leader of the VaGciriku, Hompa Kassian Shiyambi, before thanking Mutorwa and his team, urged the villagers to take ownership of the facility and not vandalise it, or to be selfish when using the water facilities. He said some families might want to claim that it is only for their homesteads, whereas it actually belongs to all the villagers.
“I want you all to guard this with care, but share and use it without arguments. I know some would say, ‘It’s mine because the tap is built in front of our homestead’, but that should not happen. It’s for the entire community,” the Hompa added.
“When we were in a meeting and were told that this water project will be completed soon I did not believe that it will really be at my people’s disposal soon, but I am happy. As I came here I noticed that before my people did not shine the way they are [shining] today. Even my headmen are looking very clean and tidy. Some have even become lighter in their complexion,” said the Hompa.
The water supply line and related infrastructure, supervised by Consulting Services Africa, was constructed at a cost of N$14 million by Neu Olulya Trading and was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
Last Friday, the Minister Mutorwa commissioned a similar project, the Sikondo-Mupini water project in Kavango West, which benefits three villages.