N$2 million worth of pumps stolen in Ohangwena in a month

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

About 20 water pumps, valued at N$2 million, were stolen within a month in the Ohangwena region this year.

This was revealed by the deputy executive director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Elijah Ngurare, on his social media platform recently when expressing his concerns about the theft of the water pumps.

The affected villages in the region are Okanghalulwena, Okanyanona, Oshalande, Omulamba, Okamanya, Okakongwena, Epangwe, Onamatadiva, Oshanashiwa, Vendome, Oshidute, Ondobeyongwena, Ekangolomuve, and Onghalulu.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Jona Musheko, said the theft of water pumps and solar panels from the water points is being experienced in various regions across the country.

“This act is not only in one region but it is present in most regions. It is very unfortunate that such an act will keep taking us back in our water supply efforts,” said Musheko.

According to him, similar incidents have been reported in other regions as well, as there seems to be a market for the target items.

“We cannot confidently say that until we can prove it, but we believe there should be a demand somewhere for these items,” he said.

Musheko highlighted the financial ramifications of such thefts, revealing that the replacement cost for one pump can amount to approximately N$80,000, excluding operational expenses of N$20,000 for each.

The Namibia police reported eight cases of stolen pumps between January 2024 to date in the region.

Ohangwena Regional Commander Commissioner Ottilie Kashuupulwa said they registered eight cases of theft since the beginning of the year in the Okongo Constituency.

“Four of the stolen pumps were from private boreholes, while the others belonged to the government. Two of the stolen borehole cylinders were recovered,” said Kashuupulwa.

She added that the value of the stolen pumps is estimated to be N$843,000 and that four suspects were arrested in this regard.

Last year it was reported that 46 communal pumps were stolen from Ohangwena, Kavango West, and Kavango East regions.

Recently, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila inaugurated a borehole in the Epembe constituency Ohangwena region as part of her office’s drought relief project.

The borehole will cater for nearly 11 villages.

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