Kamanjab – Communities in the Sesfontein area are struggling with water shortage for seven years now and at times survive from springs when it rains, according to Sesfontein constituency councillor, Julius Kaujova.
Kaujova revealed that some farms, such as the ones in the Middlepos area, do not have a borehole and rely on water the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry supplies with a water truck. The water shortage dates back to 2011 and the agriculture ministry has since been saying it is drilling new boreholes. To get water, the community of Omuheke now has to travel with donkey carts to Soetwater or Marinus to fetch water.
“The elderly are suffering and communities have to travel 8 kilometres with donkey carts to fetch water,” Kaujova said.
A truck normally provides the farmers with water but at times there are no supplies for up to a month. “This is not a joke. At times, the ministry has challenges due to truck breakdown and the communities have to source water from nearby farms or, if it rains, from the springs and riverbeds,” Kaujova said.
Kapukapua Kuvare from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Directorate for Water Supply and Sanitation coordination in the Kunene Region, says they are aware of the situation at Omuheke but due to budget cuts, there is nothing his directorate can do.
“The last boreholes we drilled were in the 2013/2014 financial year but now we cannot say much as we are not aware how much will be allocated as the budget is not tabled yet,” Kuvare told New Era. “We cannot move to the next level and drill new boreholes. We just maintain and repair, as that is the current situation,” Kuvare revealed.
Kuvare said in the whole of the Kunene Region water sources can only be maintained and repaired, as no new boreholes can be drill due to budget cuts.
Kaujova, who is also the Kunene regional chairperson, said boreholes are budgeted for but availability of funds hampers efforts to get new boreholes for the region.