Regional council completes most water projects

17 November 2020 | Infrastructure

Water provision projects in the Omaheke region funded under the 2019/2020 drought relief programme have mostly been completed, despite some experiencing delays.
According to a media release by the Omaheke regional council, 21 boreholes had been drilled by the end of October this year. This N$3.5 million project is in both communal and resettlement areas in all constituencies in the region, excluding Gobabis where the drilling of two boreholes is still pending. Eight more boreholes are still to be drilled at Otjombinde (three), Otjinene (three) and Okorukambe (two) constituencies.
A total of 23 existing boreholes have been installed with solar pumps to the tune of N$2 million in all constituencies, excluding Otjombinde and Otjinene where seven boreholes are still to be installed either with solar or submersible pumps. Fifteen more boreholes in the other constituencies are also to be installed.
Furthermore, the Omaheke Regional Council bought materials, such as stationary engines, tanks, pipes and mechanical pumps, to supply water at various water points in all constituencies, excluding Okorukambe and Gobabis, where materials are currently being ordered from suppliers. More materials have been ordered for Otjombinde constituency. Material cost for the whole region amounted to N$4.5 million.
The outstanding water provision projects are expected to cost N$4 million, which includes siting, drilling, testing and installation of boreholes.
The Regional Council received N$14.7 million from the Office of the Prime Minister in October and November last year to drill and rehabilitate boreholes in the region. This was in response to a nationwide state of emergency due to drought which was extended to March this year.
Projects identified to be implemented with these funds were expected to be completed by July this year. However, the contractor faced tremendous setbacks while on duty, such as the drilling and cleaning rigs overturning, drilling rods getting stuck underground and a damaged compressor, which slowed down project implementation significantly.
Despite these setbacks and other administrative challenges, the Regional Council has devised various strategies to ensure the project continues unabated and residents receive water as expected.
The Regional Council is also in the process of acquiring the services of a geohydrologist to ensure similar projects funded by the development budget are done up to standard.