Otamanzi – Otamanzi Constituency residents in Omusati Region began the new year with beaming faces after good Samaritans assisted them to excavate an earth dam.
Last year Otamanzi residents decided to deepen the old earth dam at their village to enable them to harvest water during the rainy season, starting from this year.
The voluntary work was spearheaded by Ongandjera King Johannes Muyipa, who was overwhelmed by the high turnout of people from eight nearby villages, all willing to lend a hand.
The Scaling Up Community Resilience (SCORE) to Climate Variability and Climate Change in Northern Namibia project came to their rescue after being approached by some residents because of the worst drought in the area in recent years.
SCORE, which focuses on women and children, is a project of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and falls under the Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA). It is funded by the Global Environmental Facility through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to Mirjam Ndahafa Kaholongo, the SCORE regional project coordinator for Omusati, Oshana and Kunene regions, the project has to date financially supported the restoration/rehabilitation of five earth dams in Otamanzi, Okalongo, Okaku, Ongenga and Engela constituencies.
“The total amount spent on these earth dams is over N$1.5 million, which comes from the 2016 budget. There is a budget for 2017 but that is yet to be disclosed,” said Kaholongo. The main purpose of restoring/rehabilitating earth dams is to harvest rainwater.
“This is very important in a dry country like Namibia where we receive too much rain in some years and in some years experience devastating droughts like the past two years. Our farmers suffered due to drought and also other people in areas where there is no piped water,” narrated Kaholongo.
The project has also helped communities with the restoration of hand-dug wells in Omusati, Ohangwena and Kavango regions.
The purpose is to provide water to both humans and livestock, especially to needy people who do not have piped water or cannot afford to give their livestock piped water as it is expensive.
SCORE has now appointed a contractor company under Toppy Workshop that belongs to businessman Tobias Kuutumbeni, for N$340 000.
Kuutumbeni explained that he accepted the tender to help the nation because he himself had been helped by the well-known business personality Chicco.
He said it would take approximately three weeks to finish the tender.
Meanwhile the Governor of Omusati Region, Erkki Endjala, who received the excavators said he is very grateful for what Otamanzi residents have done.
“This is a good example of working hard – good Samaritans will always meet you halfway. I wish all the constituencies in my region will do the same,” said,” said Endjala
Endjala said livestock have to trek long distances in search of water and the situation is worsened by a critical shortage of water in the area.