Villages in and around Divundu now have access to potable tap water following the installation of a water purification plant at the settlement.
The plant will certainly change lives in these villages, where the otherwise mundane chore of drawing water from the Kavango River was for many residents a daring daily square-off with man-eating crocodiles.
Crocodiles on average catch and kill eight people in this area every year, causing untold grief to residents who depend on the river for water for domestic use.
The new purification plant will pipe potable water to residents of Divundu and the nearby villages of Ndongo, Kake, Samundambo, Kamut’jonga and Bagani.
The new system comprises of a river abstraction plant fitted with two pumps that draw 60 000 litres of untreated water from the river, which is then piped into two flocculation tanks, before being piped to taps for use by residents.
The plant is scheduled to be handed to residents next week, according to John Muremi, the NamWater area manager for Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi regions. “The water pipes have been constructed to run from Divundu to Bagani,” Muremi added.
The installation of the water purification plant is also good news for Divundu Village Council, whose chairperson, Joseph Dinyando, mooted the possibility of collecting revenue from water tariffs.
“This is good for our village council in terms of economy, as it is a source of income for the council and will attract investors. We’re also happy because it will benefit our people at villages where the water pipe passes through up to Bagani,” Dinyando said.
“With the availability of electricity and now soon to be available potable water, Divundu is on the right track,” said Mukwe Constituency Councillor John Thighuru, the chairperson of Kavango East Regional Council.
The plant, which was commissioned by the national water utility corporation NamWater, was constructed at a cost of N$24 million.
The water drawn from the river is pumped to the flocculation tanks to mix with flocculants to remove some of the impurities, then pumped into settler tanks where the semi-purified water is separated from river sediments.
The water is then pumped through a bank of sand filters and from the sand filters will gradually be pumped as potable water to reservoirs, after chlorine in gaseous form has been injected into it and eventually piped to the 250 000 litre reservoir, ready for use.
Lime will also be added to the chlorinated water before it is ready for use by consumers at Divundu and nearby villages.
With a population of 5 400, Divundu is situated 200km east of Rundu, along the Trans-Caprivi/Zambezi Highway on the southeastern banks of the Kavango River in Kavango East Region.