Drought halts Onawa community project

31 August 2016 | Agriculture

A community irrigation project in the Omusati Region has been affected heavily by the drought and no production took place this year.
Established in 2012, the Onawa Community Project at Onawa yaKahenge village is aimed at providing food for the volunteers from 122 households residing in the village.
The committee of the project also formed a fund from the sales they make which grants funds to homesteads in difficult times such as death.
Before the drought, the irrigation project produced fruit and vegetables which were divided among the households but today the only output from the three hectares is grass which is sold to farmers.
Talking to Ewi lyaNooli the chairperson of the project, Tylves Angala, said the drought situation gave them a major setback in terms of food production saying that many families depended on the output of the project which has become something of the past.
Angala said the drought also left them unable to keep the over 50 chickens and some goats at the residence of a volunteer who lives close to the plantation.
“With the little rainfall we experienced this year, nothing could have come out of the project,” Angala said.
He said they look forward to the coming rainy season.
“We hope to receive good rains by the end of the year as the volunteers are ready to work,” he said.
He added that they discovered that the earthen dam which they used to pump water from to irrigate the garden caused their plants to die as the water was too salty.
Angala said they had to start mixing the salty water from the dam with clean drinking water in order for the plants to grow.
Regarding the future of the garden, Angala said they are now looking at getting full-time employees.
“We are ready to make the Onawa community project be successful again,” he said.
Angala said they welcome initiatives and ideas from other institutions specialising in agriculture.


KENYA KAMBOWE

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