At the beginning of this month, the German Embassy together with the local NGO Maltahöhe CommonWaters Organisation signed a grant agreement to finance the rehabilitation of existing boreholes in the area of Maltahöhe in the Hardap Region.
832,000. NAD (approx. 49,500. EUR) will be made available for the refurbishing of 12 boreholes that were identified by the organization.
Borehole rehabilitation helps farming communities
The allocated funds are a combination of resources from the micro project fund of the German Embassy Windhoek, together with additional Covid-19 immediate relief funds of the German Government. Since many communities in the traditional Nama area in the south of the country are still struggling with the aftermath of the pandemic, this project will serve entire communities with much needed water supply. It will help the community members, especially with upholding their farming, which mean
s the people no longer have to drive the cattle miles from their homestead to find water. It can even serve as possibility for gardening and thus provide a more diverse diet for the local people.
The rehabilitation of the boreholes with solar technology means that each water point will be fitted with a solar water pump and panels, as well as tanks and pipes for drinking water supply for humans and animals.
Skills transfer and financial planning
In addition to refurbishing the boreholes, each water point will set up a so called “water point committee”, which will provide training and education as a “skills transfer” to the users of the water posts. The training will also entail a financial literacy module to encourage the setup of financial reserves with small personal contributions by the community members. These “water cent concepts” which can be used to secure later repairs, if necessary, will certainly strengthen the commitment of each beneficiary towards the maintenance of the respective boreholes.
The commitment of the organization together with the community members is unmatched. After less than two weeks of the initial disbursement, the first borehole was repaired and updated and is fully functioning. The community of Farm Kleinfontein, about 70 km southwest of Maltahöhe, is the first beneficiary and delighted to finally have a functioning water supply on the farm.
The communities are very thankful and are now looking forward to benefit from the program. Here is their take on the project implementation:
Alwina Witbooi, Aneis water post: “Nowadays I'm mostly in Mariental, because I can't do much here. We lost almost all animals in the drought and there is not enough water here. If we can get water now and I can get back to my job and plant a garden, then I can stay here and not have to live in the city.”
Simon Kooper, Rietkuil water post: “I used to always grow vegetables and sell them until our pump broke a few years ago. We haven't had any water since then and have to fetch it from far away. My garden has been fallow and dry for more than two years and I can't do anything. It would be wonderful if we had water again, I would start reviving my garden right away.”