News From Africa

Namibia: Petrusfontein Water Woes Drag On


ABOUT 30 households at the farm Petrusfontein, some 30 kilometres from Khorixas, have been without clean drinking water for the past 15 years, and their water woes seem to be far from over.

This happened despite promises undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to resolve the issue.

Inhabitants have in the past years, after the farm’s population outgrew its water supply, been relying on salty borehole water meant for their livestock – until their only communal diesel engine broke down last September after being damaged by elephants.

They now have to walk daily to the nearest farm with their livestock to access water.

Residents in a letter dated 15 January this year brought their plight to the attention of then minister of agriculture Alfeus

!Naruseb’s office, but claim their grievances fell on deaf ears.

Clennetthy Naris, one of the farmers, says !Naruseb invited community representatives for a meeting on 21 February during which a directive was set based on their concerns.

This included that the ministry, through the office of constituency councillor Elias /Aro Xoagub, would supply the affected community with a new diesel engine, and would install another borehole at Petrusfontein.

This has not taken place yet.

Executive director of agriculture, water and land reform Percy Misika on Monday said his ministry is aware of the disrupted water supply at Petrusfontein.

He promised the situation would be resolved soon.

” . . . internal arrangements have been put in place to ensure water provision within a short period of time,” he said.

Misika could, however, not provide a date at which the community’s water woes would be over.

“We cannot give a specific date to when these will be completed as government procurement procedures are being followed to procure all needed services/equipment,” he said.

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