The national water utility has announced that water restrictions will be carried out until further notice owing to a power failure in Angola, subsequently affecting the Calueque Dam that supplies water to the northern areas. The affected areas are Oshakati, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Helao Nafifi, Omuthiya, Eenhana and rural branch lines. “We would to inform our customers in the abovementioned areas, that water shortage is being experienced from 23 August 2016 until further notice. The cause of this situation is insufficient raw water to Oshakati treatment plant. Our water pump at Calueque Dam inside Angola experienced power failure at some point, resulting in less water in the canal. This affected normal flow to the treatment plant in Oshakati,” Namwater’s head of public relations Johannes Shigwedha announced in a statement released on Wednesday.
The restrictions mean that water will be available in a limited fashion. “Although Namwater has resumed pumping water to the canal, it will take a few days before normal supply is restored. To ensure that there is some amount of water available, water will be rationed everyday from 22h00 in the evening to 04h00 in the morning. This situation is likely to prevail until Monday, 29 August 2016,” said Shigwedha. The announcement comes as the entire country finds itself in the grips of the worst drought in over three decades. The past two droughts coincided with El Niño weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean, which warms the world’s largest body of water and creates drought in much of the southern hemisphere.
Last week, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has warned that wildfires could become more frequent and more destructive as global temperatures rise and drought conditions plague many regions of the world. The drought has exacerbated pressures that are already hitting the farming community and other key sectors of the economy. Southern Africa is one of the hardest region, where the harvests have just ended – given the regional scale and high magnitude of crop losses.
The World Food Programme’s Humanitarian Implications and Scenarios: The El Niño Aftermath and Perspectives for 2016-2017 report states that southern Africa will contribute substantial numbers of food insecure people to the large numbers that have already resulted from the droughts in Ethiopia, Latin America and Caribbean, south eastern Asia and Pacific region.