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Meatco provides water to farmers

Frank Bockmühl, geo-hydrologist, and Willem Shali, drilling operator on the project giving instructions to Okavango farmers on the use of the solar pumps and maintenance of all installations.Meatco’s social investment arm, Meatco Foundation, has drilled boreholes in the Mbunza area near Rundu in the Okavango region. The boreholes will benefit eight farmers in the region.
The two wells will improve the quality of their farming activities and general living conditions. Farmers in these areas are often required to travel long distances ranging from seven to 12 kilometres to reach water points, and although the Northern Communal Area offers vast grazing land for animals, these areas lie untouched due to the lack of surface water.
The boreholes are fitted with solar pumps, providing cost effective and sustainable pumping of water on a daily basis. During a site inspection on 27 March, the first borehole was approved for the first group of farmers to use.
“The farmers were given a brief lecture on the use and maintenance of the solar pump installation which runs on electricity generated by solar panels. The solar panels are of the kind that cannot be used to charge cellphones or batteries as they destroy these. It was necessary to install this type of solar panel to eliminate the risk of the panels being stolen for those purposes, which happens with most community type boreholes fitted with solar pumps,” says Uschi Ramakhutla, executive officer of the Meatco Foundation.
The eight farmers, most of whom slaughter for Meatco, each have access to a water tank, a trough and a separate tap for domestic use.
Ramakhutla said that the installations are a long-term investment in the rural community and a contribution to sustainable throughput at Meatco’s Oshakati Abattoir. The beneficiaries formed Water Point Communities to take responsibility for the management and maintenance of the water points.

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