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Painful death in the "Killer Channel"

June 2012
  • Drinking water channel at the Waterberg

    Drinking water channel at the Waterberg. Photo: Waterberg Wilderness

Farmers at the Waterberg are demanding that the open channel supplying drinking water to Okakarara, Okahandja and Windhoek should finally be covered. Animals often fall into the channel and are unable to get out again because the cement is slippery and the walls are to steep. Hundreds, if not thousands, of animals die a slow and painful death every year.

The water comes from the mines near Kombat and Berg Aukas in the Otavi mountains and flows through the mostly open channel into the Omatako Dam. From there the water is pumped through a pipeline into the Von-Bach Dam at Okahandja, which also supplies water to Windhoek. The channel is thus an important source of water for the ever-growing capital, especially in times when the water levels in the dams are low.

The quality of the water is however compromised by the animal cadavers, which are not always discovered immediately. Experts also estimate that around half of the water in the channel is lost through evaporation – and through cracks in the channel that was erected during the late eighties. That is why the farmers at the Waterberg ask authorities in case of repair works to do the job properly and literally put a lid on the problem.