The community of Sesfontien which is engaged in crop cultivation on a piece of land at the north-western settlement are struggling to water their crops due to water pipes that are blocked.
Sesfontien community garden was established by German missionaries during their control of Namibia and it was later extended by the former South African regime in the 1970s to accommodate more local crop farmers.
According to the Sesfontien constituency councillor Julius Kaujova, the pipes are old as they have been there for more than fifty years.
“It a long time since they have been replaced as this garden was established by the Germans. There is enough water but the pipes are very old and they are blocked,” Kaujova told New Era recently.
The Sesfontien community garden is divided into two parts, the old garden and the new garden, and currently the crops are irrigated with the use of water channels.
Kaujova said the community wrote him a letter in which they asked for assistance and to buy them new pipes. In the letter seen by New Era, the Sesfontien community garden committee says the new garden production level is reduced to zero every year due to irrigation problems.
Three reservoirs are situated three kilometres away from the garden but the channelling system from one reservoir to another is also problematic.
“The old system installed cannot allow farmers to unblock it since it is very deep underneath the reservoirs (sic),” the Sesfontien community garden committee wrote in the letter sent to the Kunene Regional Council.
“We believe and trust our wishes will reach everyone’s concern. We all wish to contribute to food security and poverty reduction in our community with these limited resources at our disposal but constraints are putting us down,” the garden committee further wrote.
The letter is signed by Saul Philip Ganuseb, France Hoeb, Silla Hoes, Petrina Tanises, Mathews Khomanxab, Jonathan Awarab, Hulda Gaobaes, Jacob Hoeb and Neliwa Wilbard who are the Sesfontien community garden committee members. Kaujova said he will look into the matter as the Sesfontien community garden provides income to locals and helps fight poverty, and he further called upon those who are willing to give assistance to the community garden to contact him.
The constituency councillor also plans to involve local school pupils to help with cleaning the garden and in return the schools will be given ink and paper. He also plans that Elias Amxab Combined School should have a plot at the garden to assist them with agriculture as a subject.
He further said the garden can assist President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) towards self-sufficiency for the country rather than depend on South Africa for food produce.
Maize, lucerne, wheat, tomatoes and pumpkins and other crops are planted at the garden. Locals harvest the produce and sell them in places like Khorixas, Palmwag, Bergsig, Kamanjab and Opuwo.
The dates and pumpkins also planted at Sesfontien sell like hot cakes due to their high quality.