The Namibia- German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) has handed over rehabilitated solar energy generated boreholes to the communities of !Naoaspoort and Arovlei, a resettled farming community in the Khomas Rural Constituency. The N$670,000 project was funded by the German Government and implemented through the NGSIP. The rehabilitation and installation of the boreholes has secured water supply to the rural communities and relieved them of the burden of walking long distances to fetch water from other sources.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony of the boreholes, the Khomas Regional Governor, Laura Mcleod-Katjirua through her Special Advisor, Hon. Sibeya Mwashikele hailed the German Government for its active support in the development of Namibia in different ways such as the rehabilitation water boreholes. “The most commendable gift today is that the water issue at this settlement is solved and all thanks to NGSIP,” Mcleod-Katjirua said. “This we hope will go a long way in easing the constraints of potable water.” Following several reports of theft of solar panels previously installed at the settlement, Mcleod-Katjirua issued a warning to would-be thieves and urged the communities to protect the boreholes and panels against vandalism.
“We are aware that there have been several reported thefts of solar panels and so far nobody has yet been caught. I call on the community to guard against vandals and thieves. All these and other donations must be protected. If you take good care of this project, it will help you in the long run,” she stressed. Mcleod-Katjirua said access to clean water is not only a basic need of mankind, but a necessity to sustain, all forms of life in the world. “It is often quite easily forgotten, how completely we depend on it. Human survival is dependent on water,” the Governor noted.
The Chief National Development Advisor in the Economic Planning Ministry in the Presidency, Ned Sibeya said Namibia’s population is doubling every 23 years and people expect to have water continuously available for their needs and those of their livestock, gardening and drinking. He was speaking on behalf of Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Economic Planning, Hon. Lucia Iipumbu at the event. He stressed that water, in contrast, is decreasing as reserves are being used more rapidly than they are being replenished. “There are many reasons that attribute to this growing water crisis in Namibia,” said Sibeya, adding that climate change has affected water supplies within the region. He said due to the water shortage the Government is force to look at imposing water restrictions on communities. “Therefore, good management by everyone will be the only way to assure that water continues to be available for at least our basic needs,” he demanded. Sibeya described the reported theft of solar panels “a cowardly and unacceptable act” and called on Namibians to firmly reject this and any other “cowardly crimes of destroying infrastructure.” “Vandalism would not be condoned, and I therefore urged the appropriate agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.”
The Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Gruen said that since the water situation is “worrisome” in the country he urged the community to use the resources wisely. “These are the basis of our life and of our survival. Without intact soil, without water there will be no future,” he stressed. According to Gruen, every country’s development must originate from within, and every country needs to find its own specific development path. “But notwithstanding all diversity, this must be based on the values that we share. They include democracy and human rights, gender equality, the rule of law, and good governance. And I am glad, that our two Governments, indeed our two societies, share those values,” he noted.
The Chairman of !Naoaspoort Community Development Committee (CDC), Kenneth Eixab, in a vote of thanks said the rehabilitated boreholes had saved the people from a lot of stress and threats of drought and would ensure that regular contributions were made by the community for the regular maintenance of the borehole to ensure that it never broke down for the people to go back to fetch water from river. “It’s just wonderful and it’s a good gift to this community...people are very happy,” he said.