Omatale-The Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta, rubbished criticism by some people that the ministry is only focused on the food bank and has done nothing apart from distributing food in Khomas Region.
Kameeta said the ministry was created with the responsibility of leading the war against poverty.
“One cannot emphasise enough the multi-faceted nature of poverty and the fact that the government has been committed since independence to fight poverty. Therefore deem it appropriate to emphasise the coordinating role of the ministry,” stated Kameeta at the official handover of boreholes drilled and installed at Padelia and Omatale in Nehale Lya Mpingana Constituency in Oshikoto Region.
The ministry committed an investment of N$522,000 towards the project, after it was approached by the Governor of Oshikoto, Henock Kankoshi, who recounted the water crisis and the dire situation inhabitants were facing.
“If we were a food distributing ministry only, as per popular belief, we could have said, Governor, we don’t deal with water, instead approach the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. But as a coordinating ministry it was our responsibility to connect the relevant stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the task at hand for the benefit of our people,” stressed Kameeta.
He said the ministry would not send away people that are burdened with poverty-related issues, but it will create a much-needed bridge that will lead the people to the promised land of a poverty-free Namibia.
The drilling and installation were undertaken by Super Drilling and it was a joint effort of the governor’s office and the water and poverty edadication ministries. 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 three cubic metres per hour.
They have an estimated volume of over 52 percent with a depth of 120 metres.
Kankoshi said that in 2015 he was approached by community members concerning access to clean water because the two boreholes were no longer functional as they had dried up.
The borehole at Padelia was drilled in 1978 but became non- functional about 10 years ago, while that at Omatale was drilled in 1973 and dried up in 2014.
“Due to long distances many villages in Oshikoto have no access to clean water, which makes it very difficult for people because they have to walk long distances to get water, which is sometimes not fit for human consumption,” said Kankoshi.
“We have been waiting for this for a very long time – and this means that the long walks of 10 to 15 kilometres will now be a thing of the past. I therefore urge the community members to guard against vandalism of equipment,” added an excited councillor for Nehale Leevi, Reinholdt.