DEVELOPMENT is not possible without water, hence water infrastructure should be essential for any developmental projects of a country, said Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein.
Schlettwein made the remarks during the launch of the Ohangwena Aquifer 2 project at Omulondo village in the Oshikunde constituency.
Schlettwein indicated that the Ohangwena Region is enlisted to benefit from government projects on water supply especially, given the vast potential that this region has if water resources are fully exploited.
He stated that government is aware that the Ohangwena Aquifer 2 is a largely unexploited aquifer with significant potential of supplying potable water to the Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions.
Thus, government through its parastatal NamWater initiated the Ohangwena 2 Wellfield project to provide water supply infrastructure to improve and increase the bulk water supply capacity of the Omafo-Eenhana and Omakango-Onambutu-Eenhana schemes to meet the 2 037 cubic metre water demand.
“The Oshakati purification plant has been supplying bulk potable water to several schemes, but most of the schemes are under pressure to meet the increasing water demand which has been a great concern to government,” he said.
Schlettwein explains that once the project is completed, it is expected to contribute towards reliable access to safe drinking water in the areas between Omafo-Eenhana and Omakango-Onambutu-Eenhana.
He assured the community of Oshikunde that government is doing everything within its power and given the little resources, to ensure that water supply becomes a reality for everyone.
Oshikunde constituency councillor Lonia Kaishungu said with a large population of over 20 000 inhabitants and 81 villages, access to potable water remains the biggest challenge for them.
Kaishungu stated that in addition to being faced with poor road infrastructure, the need for clean water has been long overdue, as they have been without pipelines for years.
“Most of the time people rely on boreholes and wells as a source of water supply. Moreover, we are lucky that with the rainy season water catchment areas are full and people are able to access water,” she said.
Ohangwena governor Walde Ndeveshiya indicated that for a long period, several communities in the Ohangwena Region have struggled and continue to struggle to access clean water for livelihood purposes.
“We are not only waiting for government to come up with projects. My office has started with a project to raise funds to ensure they meet government halfway,” he added.
NamWater board of directors chairperson Thaddeus Mashawu said they have been supplying water to large western parts of Ohangwena Region including Eenhana from Oshakati via Omafo and that water originates approximately 300 km away at the Calueque Dam in south-west Angola.
“It has become inadequate, resulting in little water for Eenhana Town and the adjacent communities,” he added.
Mashawu said the discovery of the Ohangwena Aquifer 2 came at the right time to ensure water supply reaches Eenhana, as the communities at times suffer from dry taps.
The project will be carried out by Element Consulting Engineers PTY Ltd.
The project commenced on 17 January and is expected to be executed over a period of 41 months.