GOBABIS: The unauthorised drilling of boreholes and tapping of water from communal water-points at Aminuis is gradually escalating to the point where it threatens to inflame tempers amongst local farmers, Nampa can reveal.
Despite Government providing a central borehole for use by the community in almost all villages and settlements in the constituency, farmers are alleged to be drilling – without the formal approval of traditional authorities – boreholes for their own use.
Villages in the constituency are said to have an oddly higher ratio – with many averaging between five and seven boreholes in one village or settlement.
The village of Otjijere, where simmering tensions over the erection of fencing on communal land resulted in a farmer from neighbouring Ondjiripumua village losing a finger last year, is said to have at least six boreholes.
Concerns are growing that Aminuis underground water reserves could be depleted in the near future should carte blanche be given to farmers to drill as often as they like.
Sources Nampa spoke to blamed especially the wealthy farmers for the scenario, as they drill their own boreholes and still use the communal water-points installed by Government.
“No one is following that stipulation. All a person needs to do is inform his neighbours of his intention and he can then go ahead and drill his own borehole. People will then run to us for help when things go wrong, just like they did with the fencing problem at Otjijere,” a traditional leader who asked not to be named said in a recent interview.
Constituency Councilor Erwin Uanguta told this agency in an interview last week that the situation is critical and needs to be resolved soon to avoid unnecessary scuffles and infighting.
“There needs to be proper planning and coordination. People regard Aminuis as having enough water, that’s why they have so many boreholes. But what if that is not the case in a few years’ time?” he asked.
Uanguta noted that while the drilling of boreholes in not necessarily prohibited, such a process can only go ahead if authorised by the traditional leaders or their representatives, through the relevant water-point committees.
“People cannot be left to do as they please. There are laws of governance in each and every set-up, and they are really simple – just obtain permission and have your borehole drilled without any hindrances,” he noted.
According to the applicable stipulations of the line ministry, a private borehole is not permitted within a radius of two kilometres of an existing Government or central water-point.