Committed to positively impacting local communities through conservation and hospitality, Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) has installed a further six boreholes at five villages around its areas of operation in the north-west of the country.
These communities now have access to clean, running water for domestic and agricultural use. “Our borehole project is progressing very well, and the six new boreholes were successfully drilled and all are producing good water yields”, noted Moalosi Lebekwe, Okavango Wilderness Safaris Stakeholder Manager.
In addition to the Shokomokwa borehole that was drilled in October 2022, the next step will be for all the boreholes to be connected to pumps securing water rights, before handing over the boreholes to the communities. Two out of the six will be connected to solar pumps, with four connected to hand pumps. This project has been implemented in partnership with Ecoexist, Franklin Wells of the World, private donors, Orezone Drilling, the Okavango Sub-District Council, farmers’ committees, and Village Development Committees of the villages where the boreholes have been drilled.
The successful installation of the boreholes is a momentous milestone, given the time and effort it has taken to get to this point. All six boreholes average 90m in depth, and getting the drilling rig, trucks and supplies to each borehole site entailed massive costs and distance on difficult roads, both gravel, and poor tar, and through dense vegetation.
The provision of water means more than just access to a critical resource for these community members. Through the work of Wilderness’ partnership with Ecoexist, bringing water closer to people allows them to avoid walking unnecessary distances on foot, which should decrease the conflict between people and elephants in these parts. This is a great example of how practical solutions such as water provision, can be offered when a problem and its causes are well understood.
Wilderness Group Impact Manager, Vincent Shacks, added, “We cannot underestimate the extraordinary efforts of all to try and help these communities. The provision of water is more than just access to a critical resource for these community members. Knowing there will be potable water for settlements, and an increasing number of beneficiaries from last year, effectively means reduced human-wildlife conflict”.