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Water crisis grips northern regions

Water crisis grips northern regions

Video: A breach in the main water canal in the northern regions of Namibia. – Footage: Placido Hilukilwa

Placido Hilukilwa
WATER rationing measures introduced by NamWater in the northern regions has turned the lives of close to a half million residents upside down.
The recently announced water rationing measures affect all northern regions dependant on NamWater’s water purification plants at Ogongo and Oshakati.
Taps are dry the better part of the day and many people go to work without taking a proper bath in the morning.
Desperate residents can be seen walking from house to house hoping that their neighbours mighty have some drinking water.
For cooking and washing, many are now fetching unpurified water from the half-empty canal while others are seen bathing in the canal in the evenings.
The water scarcity was cause by a break in the canal that channels water from Calueque in Angola to water purification plants at Ogongo and Oshakati.
Repair to the damaged part of the canal started over the weekend.
According to NamWater spokesperson John Shigwedha, a huge amount of water pumped from the Calueque Dam was wasted due to the leak in the water canal.
“Namwater had to stop the pumps at the Calueque Dam and pump the water that remained in that part of the water canal at Olushandja out in order to affect repairs. Work to pour new concrete started on Monday and was only completed on Wednesday this week,” he added.
Shigwedha said the newly poured concrete will have to be given a few days to cure properly before the water canal can be used again to take water to the Oshakati purification plant.
NamWater informed local authorities and consumers in general that the water rationing measures will last until 13 May.
According to the water rationing timetable, taps are closed from 08:00 to 12:00; from 14:00 to 16:00 and again from 20:00 to 05:00.
Water is only available 9 hours a day, but in practice many taps remain dry even when water was supposed to be available.
“We advise residents to keep water in containers and to use available water sparingly,” said Ongwediva town spokesperson Jackson Muma.

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