Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa. Rainfall is low and extremely variable. Rivers in the interior are ephemeral showing only a flow when it rains. Perennial rivers are found at the northern and southern borders of the country fed from drainage basins with favourable rainfall and runoff in Namibia’s neighbouring countries.
Ground water forms a substantial part of the water resources in Namibia.
The scarce water resources are a major limitation for socio-economic development of the country where the majority of Namibia’s population resides in the NCAs where most are engaged in forms of subsistence agriculture.
Households travel daily to water points to collect drinking water. Those who own cattle have to trek their cattle by foot to water points on a daily basis.
The Kavango region is home to a total of 30 469 households (NASSP 2006) owning 125 927 head of cattle. In eastern Kavango, large productive crazing land lies underutilized as no water points exist for cattle to make it economically viable to craze cattle in these areas.
The Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) was able to achieve water coverage of 90% by 2006 in rural areas with a maximum walking distance of 2.5km with water being of an acceptable quality. Water provision for domestic use takes priority followed by that for economic activities in the overall water provision strategy of GRN.
With the provision of water in rural communities, Water Point Communities are formed to ensure the management and maintenance of water points within a community. Communities are made responsible for this natural resource and the use of water is thus sustainably managed.