Outapi to engage in urban agriculture

Ongwediva-The Outapi Town Council is expected to start with the construction of its second treatment plant which will see the council purifying and recycling big volumes of water to be used for agricultural purposes.

The treatment plant, whose construction will commence in April, will be constructed to the tune of N$34 million (2.6 million Euro).

The water which will be purified at the treatment plant will be used on an animal fodder production garden at the town.

The fodder will be harvested by the community that would sell the produce to raise an income to sustain residents.

Chief executive officer (CEO) at the town, Ananias Nashilongo, said the concept of urban agriculture at the town was coined to boost agriculture and equally create employment for the community.

Meanwhile, the already existing treatment facility is underutilized and only treats waste from Onimbu and Tobias Hainyeko informal settlements and the purified water is then used on vegetable gardens.

Currently, waste from the formal areas at the town flows into ponds at the town and is left for evaporation without being recycled.

In addition, the CEO said the ponds are hazardous to the community especially during the rainy season when it overflows into the Cuvelai system (oshanas).

"This is not just an Outapi problem, but it is a problem in all the northern areas where water flows into the Cuvelai system. And at times this water comes with fish which is sold in the community, but once the treatment plant is in place it will be something of the past," said Nashilongo.

When the existing ponds were constructed twelve years ago the town only had around 4 000 inhabitants of whom only a small number was served by the sewerage system.

However, the population has since grown and there are now more inhabitants linked to the sewerage system.

Meanwhile, the council is also in need of an additional N$5 million to connect about 150 houses to the main sewerage system.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia