CommonWaters Namseb is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in the Hardap region of Namibia to ensure farmers have access to clean drinking water, as well as water for agricultural use. The organisation is in charge of putting CommonWaters e.goals V.’s into action, a German-based organisation that helps communities deal with water-related issues.
The Namseb branch, which was established in March of 2021 with the help of Namibia’s ministry of agriculture, water and land reform, has invested around N$1 million in borehole rehabilitation. Since the project has been up and running, a total of 16 diesel pumps have been upgraded with modern solar pumps, and obsolete installations have also been replaced.
The installations have been completed by the Namseb branch thus far, but the NGO plans to train community members to do it themselves in future.
“The aim is to later also get young people into the organisation so that they can learn how to install the pumps, to maintain them, and take over branches of this project. Basically, that is our mission,” said Gutter Von Wietersheim, the project’s founder, to New Era.
Drilling new boreholes, tackling the purification and desalination of contaminated water, and harvesting rainwater by cleaning existing ground dams and building new dams are all on the agenda for the organisation.
Farmers in the Hardap region have faced numerous water-related challenges over the course of the past few years. In August 2017, the Hardap dam released more than 3.5 billion litres of water to the Necktaral dam. This move came back to haunt the Namibian Water Corporation (NamWater) in 2020, when the dam had run dry.
On 1 February 2020, NamWater made the announcement that it had to cut off water supplies to the Hardap area’s irrigation schemes and said that water would only be made available for domestic use.
“NamWater will monitor the situation for domestic and livestock supply and reassess the situation for irrigation once the dam receives an inflow,” the authority said at the time.