Ongwediva-Helao Nafidi Town Council is constructing a N$145 million treatment plant to recycle sewerage water to be reused for irrigation.
Mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa says the supply of untreated wastewater is aimed at encouraging the residents to establish backyard gardens to boost food security at the town. Nghipangelwa adds that the initiative also aims to reduce dependency on government for drought relief and to create a sustainable means of growing food. Apart from producing food for themselves, the community is urged to use the opportunity to farm for make profit. “We want our people to be self-reliant and produce enough food for themselves, and even enough to generate income for themselves if needs be,” says Nghipangelwa.
The water will be supplied to the community at a very low price compared to potable water supplied to the rest of the town. “We took cognisance that potable water is expensive to use for gardening, hence this is our way of meeting our residents half way, because this water initially went to waste,” says Nghipangelwa.
The council will refrain from constructing dams at the extension at the town, as is the norm connecting instead all sewage from the town to the treatment plant to ensure every drop of water is utilised. At present, the treatment plant extracts water from sewage dams available at the various extensions at the town. Nghipangelwa cannot confirm when the treatment plan will become operational, but says 95 percent of the work is done. However, council does not have the remaining N$48 million to finish off the construction and is waiting on government to avail the funds.
“We understand the economic situation that our government is finding itself, but we believe that if it collects enough it will come to our aid,” says Nghipangelwa.