Shamvhura-The beneficiary communities of the Shamvhura-Shamangorwa water project in Ndiyona Constituency in Kavango East are seriously concerned about the groundwater being piped to their villages for consumption as it apparently causes diarrhoea.
Apart from allegedly causing diarrhoea the water is corrosive and stains white shirts, according to the community.
Ten villages in Ndiyona Constituency, which previously depended on the crocodile-infested Kavango River for water, were connected to this pipeline which was commissioned on May 31 2016 by the Minister of Agriculture Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa.
The pipeline was installed to bring clean drinking water to these villages scattered along a stretch of 24km along the river.
The affected villages are Shamvhura, Shinyungwe (North), Mbwata, Livuyi, Korokoko, Mashivi, Mukuvi, Mbambi, Manga and Shamangorwa.
“We have noticed that this water is not fine because if you keep it in a bucket or container for a while you will see a dark corrosion colour at the bottom, and when the main tank had a leak the water changed the colour of the metal and fence like it had corroded and the grass and plants turned brown where this water fell,” said one concerned villager Wilbard Shikusho.
“We want this water tested because a lot of people are consuming it,” Shikusho added.
New Era was informed by the community three months ago that the Department of Rural Water Supply in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry attempted to hand over the facilities to NamWater but the water utility refused after inspecting the tanks saying something was not right with the water.
The water utility officials questioned the suitability and quality of the water but during the site visit rural water supply officials said the water is fine and of good quality.
NamWater officials told the rural water supply officials that before they can take over the supply of water to the rural communities the water should be sent for testing in a laboratory as they questioned its quality after making some observations.
NamWater then sent some water samples to a lab for testing, and the community wants to know the outcome of the lab test.
“If the water is not fit for human consumption as we suspect, it might cause illnesses in the long run. It looks clear when coming from the tap but after a while it turns to a brown colour. If you check the pipes and the tank you will see what we are talking about. If you want to wash white clothes you must use water from the river, as it changes colour,” said Manfred Muronga a resident of Shinyungwe village.
New Era further spoke to the deputy director at the Department of Rural Water Supply, Moses Mpareke, who maintained the water was fine.