Omuthiya-Oshikoto Region’s directorate of rural water supply yesterday commenced with what will be a countrywide survey on rural water and sanitation in an effort to ascertain the accessibility and availability of sanitation and water services in various parts of the region.
The survey does not include urban areas. Government has set 2017 as the deadline to double the number of Namibian households with access to sanitation. The aim is to improve sanitation from the current 34 percent coverage to 70 percent.
According to the regional head of rural water supply, Stevenson Tuukondjele, the survey will cover 37,411 households in Oshikoto and will run until August, following which other experts, such as statisticians from the Namibia Statistics Agency will be involved in capturing, storing and analysing the data.
“The survey will enable government to determine how far it has gone with its mandate of providing water and sanitation in the rural areas. Therefore, we will be able to establish how many toilets [there are] and the state in which such toilets are, and where improvement is needed. This is a collective programme being undertaken in all 14 regions,” Tuukondjele stressed.
Tuukondjele urged councillors and residents to be alert for officials and to assist in terms of providing accurate information to help determine the true state of affairs with regard to water and sanitation services.
“People should speak the truth. If there is no water or you fetch water five to seven kilometres [away], say so. If there are no toilets, do so as well, or describe to us your situation in which manner you relieve [yourself], using either flushing, dry or bucket toilets.
“This will be helpful information for government when implementing projects, because they will provide a clear indication of what is needed and which areas are most affected,” he explained.
Emphasising the significance of the survey, Tuukondjele noted the project was the first of its kind and aims to unearth the underlining factors, as the available data is becoming somewhat outdated, as it was recorded during the 2011 census.
“This will be helpful for government, even when briefing the international community on the progress we have made and what setbacks we are facing.”
Hence, he appeal to the heads of all households in the region to be available at their homes for such interviews, and if they could not, to ensure that someone – at least 18 years old and above – is available to answer questions from officials.