20 water pumps stolen in Ohangwena

20 water pumps stolen in Ohangwena
20 water pumps stolen in Ohangwena

Africa-Press – Namibia. Agriculture, Water and Land Reform deputy executive director, Elijah Ngurare is concerned over the ongoing theft of water pumps in Ohangwena region meant to serve needy communities in rural areas.

He said 20 water pumps were stolen in less than a month in the Ohangwena region this year.

“The theft of pumps and destruction of communal boreholes is worsening and continuing unabated. The damage is huge, running into millions and the consequent hardship is with the communities who are left without water, it is so sad that when we could help some communities, and criminals are undoing it,’’ stressed Ngurare.

He added that community members promise to safeguard the facilities.

Agriculture spokesperson Jona Musheko said the theft of water pumps and solar panels at water points is very concerning.

“This act is not only in the Ohangwena region, but it is present in most regions. It is very unfortunate that such act will keep taking us back in our water supply efforts,” he said.

He indicated that replacement cost for one pump can cost the government about N$80 000 excluding operational cost of N$20 000 for each.

“We cannot confidently say there is a market out there for them until we prove it, but we believe there should be a demand somewhere for these items,” he said.

Villages that are affected in Ohangwena region are Ohangwena, Okanghalulwena, Okanyanona, Oshalande, Omulamba, Okamanya, Okakongwena, Epangwe, Onamatadiva, Oshanashiwa , Vendome , Oshidute, Ondobeyongwena, Ekangolomuve, and Onghalulu.

Musheko promised they will keep improving the safety features, he then advised communities to safeguard these facilities as their own.

During the handover of the largest boreholes on Saturday in Ohangwena region, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said she believes the community will protect the infrastructure.

“The vandalism and theft of these is a concern. I am also hopeful that you will make optimal use of the water to promote development activities in the area,’’ she said.

“We need to understand the fact that drilling a borehole is expensive. Therefore, we need to appreciate what the government is doing, and most importantly, we must look after and protect the facilities that are provided to our communities,” Ohangwena governor advised.

Ndeitunga noted that since 2022 to date, over 22 borehole cylindrical pumps have been stolen from boreholes in Okongo constituency alone.

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