RESIDENTS of Eenhana will no longer have to rely on Oshakati for water supply after three boreholes were drilled in the Ohangwena Aquifer.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein said NamWater drilled the boreholes with the purpose of supplementing water that comes from Oshakati.
He made the remarks during the official inauguration of the Eenhana reservoir and defluoridation plant held on Monday.
Schlettwein said the 750 cubic metres storage reservoir that has been serving the town has become insufficient and the required 48 hours of water supply storage was no longer available.
NamWater previously availed N$24 million towards the construction of the new storage reservoir, installation of new pumps and other equipment as well as the construction of effluent brine disposal ponds while the new reservoir was built at a cost of N$16 million.
“NamWater will no longer supply Eenhana with water from Oshakati. The three boreholes have sufficient yield and the Oshakati supply will now only be used as a back-up,” he said.
According to Schlettwein, Eenhana has been receiving its water from Oshakati via Omafo for many years while water originates approximately 300 kilometres away at the Calueque Dam in south-west Angola via the open canal conveyance system.
“Although that system ran smoothly for many years, the huge increase in demand for water placed on the Oshakati treatment plant has seen insufficient water reaching Eenhana recently,” he said.
In 2010, the Namibian Government’s Department of Water Affairs with the assistance of the German Government’s Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) started investigating groundwater potential in the vicinity of Eenhana.
The study led to the confirmation of abundant water resources in what is now popularly known as the Ohangwena Aquifer.
Despite the discovery of the Ohangwena Aquifer, the water quality did not meet the standard that would classify it suitable for human consumption.
Schlettwein indicated that the level of fluoride in the water at a range of 3.0 to 4.0 milligrams per litre was too high.
He explained that the German Government availed a grant through BGR amounting to N$5.6 million for installation of a treatment plant that can remove excess fluoride from the borehole water to make it suitable for consumption by the people. With additional funding by NamWater, a defluoridation plant was constructed.
Moreover, Schlettwein indicated that plans are ongoing to further invest in this aquifer with government through NamWater already at procurement stage to solicit service providers that will drill boreholes and improve the bulk water supply for the Omafo-Eenhana and Omakango-Onambutu-Eenhana Schemes.
“This will lead to improved availability of potable water to more communities in the Ohangwena region,” he said.
Schlettwein indicated that government through NamWater will continue to invest heavily in the water sector to ensure that they meet their Vision 2030 agenda, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals when it comes to the potable water supply.
According NamWater Chief Executive Officer Abraham Nehemia, the portion of the canal located about 280 km has been the carrier of water that Eenhana community have been consuming.
“The situation is now changing as we want to improve supply security by not relying only on one source of water for our communities,” said Nehemia.
He explained that the discovery and confirmation of Ohangwena Aquifer as a source has now placed them in a position where they look at ways of creating a ring feed in the infrastructure network security that they can be able to supply to communities from multiple sources in case they have a problem with one of the source.