Ministry suspends pipeline extension to homesteads… as water scarcity hits the north

by Helvy Shaanika

Ministry suspends pipeline extension to homesteads… as water scarcity hits the north

Windhoek

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) has suspended the process of issuing small water pipelines to individual households, citing low water pressure in a number of main pipelines in the northern regions.

MAWF acting permanent secretary Sophia Kasheeta confirmed the move, maintaining that the ministry is trying to find a solution by appointing a consultant to do a thorough investigation into the situation.



“The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and NamWater are busy with a study to determine the areas where the water pressure is low and expect recommendations from the consultancy and the way forward,” said Kasheeta in response to questions sent to her ministry.

According to Kasheeta, the most affected areas are the north-central regions that are basically dependent on rural water supply pipelines.

Lately, communities in the regions of Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto have been complaining of low water pressure at houses and communal water points in the rural areas.

Some are forced to wake up as early as 02h00 to go to communal water points many miles from their homestead.
At times they only return home late in the afternoon, as there are always long queues of people lining up in the hope of filling their containers.

To make matters worse, the MAWF has run out of water meters and new applicants are no longer allowed to extend water pipes to their homesteads.

Kasheeta confirmed that both the low pressure and lack of water meters are main the reasons government stopped allowing new applications for small pipelines to homesteads.

The water situation is dire in the north to the extent that in Omusati the governor has called on people to dig wells to access water for household purposes and to sustain thier livestock.

It was reported last week that Governor Erginus Endjala said his region relies only on one water source – the canal that brings water from the Calueque Dam inside Angola – and this according to him is not sufficient to supply the whole region.

He thus urged communities to dig wells and earth dams as an alternative means of reserving water for animals and agricultural activities in the region.

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