The water scarcity that has plagued rural areas in the Oshikoto Region might soon be a thing of the past as the Ministry of Health and Social Services has gone beyond its mandate of health provision to assist the region by funding projects to drill for water.
The ministry has indicated it is in the process of contracting a local company to drill boreholes in rural areas where there are clinics and hospitals. In addition, the company will be testing the water to see whether it is fit for human consumption and in cases where the water would be deemed unfit the ministry will look into other avenues such as the supply of water through using water tankers.
“The ministry has noted with great concern that most of the people in the rural areas are affected due to lack of clean water to drink, while in some areas the water is saline, thus also not fit for human consumption. This results in a number of diseases in some areas as community members sometimes have no choice but to risk consuming the unfit water,” said Peter Angula, health director for the Oshikoto Region.
Angula made the remarks when he had a meeting with the governor of the Oshikoto Region, Henock Kankoshi, to update him on the challenges faced by the ministry.
In addition, he emphasised the issue of roads being a major challenge in the region. Some areas are inaccessible, making it difficult to provide health services. Poor mobile network coverage was also mentioned as one of the setbacks.
Angula was speaking during the handover of four ambulances, and an outreach bakkie, for distribution across the region.
In response the governor acknowledged knowing about the challenges and gave the assurance that council has prioritised a number of roads for construction.
“We have prioritised roads leading to where there are schools, clinics and hospitals, to be constructed as soon as possible because that’s where people need to access services,” stressed Kankoshi.
Regarding connectivity and weak mobile network, he said they have already submitted a list of all areas to be connected “and it is just a matter of approval and conducting environmental assessments before MTC towers will be activated”.