Ongenga-A donor-funded organisation that helps rural communities boost food security and improve water supply on Tuesday handed over a dam to 3,000 villagers at Ongenga.
The organisation Scaling Up Community Resilience to Climate Variability and Climate (SCORE) undertook the project to have the dam built.
The earth dam constructed at a cost of N$270,000 will benefit at least nine villages in rural Ongenga.
Currently, only a small segment of the population of Okaku have access to potable water and villagers therefore have to travel long distances to secure water for both humans and livestock.
SCORE has so far rehabilitated five earth dams in Omusati, Oshana and Ohangwena at a cost of N$1.4 million.
Speaking at the handover, SCORE’s regional project coordinator for Omusati, Oshana and Kunene Region Mirjam Ndahafa Kaholongo explained the background to the initiative.
She said the programme aimed at encouraging people to produce food to sustain themselves and reduce what many see as a dependency syndrome.
“Okaku was selected to benefit from the programme because the constituency is more vulnerable to the impact of climate change,” Kaholongo said.
SCORE unfortunately could not assist farmers in putting up their backyard gardens because of a lack of water in the area.
However, she assured the community they would look into alternatives way to establish a community garden, which will source water from the dam.
The Oshana Regional Governor, Clemens Kashuupulwa, urged the community to take ownership of the earth dam.
He said that despite the current economic challenges government is committed to seeking assistance from private organisations to fight poverty and create employment for women and youth.
He encouraged the youth to participate in the fight against poverty by establishing backyard vegetable gardens and ensuring they remained active throughout the year.
“We need to be proactive and support the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) because if we do not deliver any produce the building will remain empty,” Kashuupulwa said.
Villagers received the earth dam with mixed feelings, with some villagers fearing for their children and livestock’s safety because the dam is not fenced.
Kaholongo advised the community to look into ways to have the earth dam fenced off because SCORE currently had no budget for fencing.
Claudia Imene Nanyeni expressed joy, saying she no longer has to herd her livestock for long distances to search for water.