Lack of funds halts borehole drilling

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Obrein Simasiku

Omatale – The drilling of two boreholes at Omatale and Paderia to meet the water needs of those communities has been halted due to the lack of funds.

Drilling would have been completed within two weeks if funds were available.

An amount of N$254 906.70, which includes labour, is needed to complete phase two of the project which entails setting up water points, construction of a concrete borehole block, a tank and solar installation, according to a quotation seen by this reporter.

The boreholes were drilled last year on the south-eastern side of Omuthiya in the areas of Mangetti and Andoni at a cost ranging slightly over N$300 000 each.

The boreholes are said to have an output of 10 to 11 cubic metres per hour thus they can supply water to communities for an indefinite period, as compared to those producing water of just 3 cubic metres per hour.

They have an estimated volume of over 52 percent with a depth of 120 metres.

The once existing boreholes dried up three years ago due to low water levels which resulted in facilities being dilapidated and needing an overhaul revamp.

This project was made possible through the assistance of the Ministry of Poverty Eradication which last year donated N$600 000 after the regional Governor Henock Kankoshi had requested support.

Kankoshi together with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry yesterday visited the site where the wells were drilled to ascertain the progress. At the occasion he pleaded for funds to hasten completion of the project and make water available to the community and their animals.

The the geo-hydrologist in the agriculture ministry Veronika Kala cautioned the community not to over-extract water from the wells when they become operational as this will stress the water level, creating prospects of drying up in a short period.

“By over-extracting we mean the community should consume water within the 11m³ per hour that the boreholes can accommodate each day for 8 hours and that’s the limit.

Something beyond this will mean putting pressure on the underground water as there will not be sufficient time for recovery, therefore a balance should be managed otherwise it will lead to the borehole drying and eventually breaking because it will be producing sandy particles,” cautioned Kalla.

“I can therefore assure you that the water was successful and fit for consumption and that it is sufficient. We did a step test by letting the water run for four hours and letting it to recover for another four hours. After this we did a run test whereby water was left to run for 8 hours before it was left to recuperate again,” she said.

Sharing similar precaution was the regional head of rural water supply, Tuukondjele Stevenson, who warned the community not to overcrowd their areas with many livestock at one borehole because this increases pressure, thus the consumption rate will be higher.

Meanwhile residents in the areas have been walking up to five kilometres for the past three years in order to access water at a nearby farm, which is private property.

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