The Project “Water for Hardap”, carried out by the Maltahöhe Commonwater Organization, has received 25.000 Euro from the micro-project fund of the German Embassy. The money is used by the organization for the rehabilitation of six already existing boreholes in the area of Maltahöhe in the Hardap Region.
There are 453 wells in the traditional Nama area, of which 300 are potentially in need of rehabilitation in the next 10 years. The wells are essential for the surrounding villages. If a pump breaks or there is no more fuel, the water has to be transported from far away. Some families are forced to move to other settlements. There are not enough financial means to secure the water supply in the affected areas and there is a lack of know-how for repairing the systems.
The project will rehabilitate the water supply and replace the old diesel pumps with CO2-free and low-maintenance solar-powered Grundfos pumps. The aim of the renovation is not only to secure a regular water supply, but also to encourage local vegetable cultivation and animal husbandry to provide basic nutrition and to generate a small income for the residents. In order to ensure the long-term nature of the project, so-called “water point committees” are set up. They are responsible for taking care of the water posts in the long term and passing on the knowledge about the maintenance of the boreholes to the residents. The 'water cent', a small monetary contribution from the users of the water pump, is set aside for the later use for minor repairs.
“Our experiences show that the residents feel highly responsible for the protection of the water supply. We are also seeing that social solidarity is growing,” says Guido von Wietersheim, one of the founders of the initiative. With the support of the German embassy, the organization had already renovated 13 water pumps in 2022.
The Maltahöhe CommonWaters Organization was founded in 2021 and aims to combat water shortages in traditional Namaland in southern Namibia. The non-profit organization CommonWaters e.V. was initially set up in Germany as a support association and partner in project development. Of the seven founding members of the NGO, six come from the project region and are therefore well rooted in the community. In the long term, the organization wants to completely renovate the water supply in Namaland and, for example, also repair rainwater collection tanks for animal care. In 2022, the NGO successfully rehabilitated 13 wells with the financial support of the German Embassy.