Rundu won't cut residents' water

05 March 2021 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe


While some local authorities have threatened residents who defaulted on their water accounts, the Rundu town council says they will not disconnect residents' water until the line ministry says otherwise.

Only water to businesses and institutions will be cut. This is according to Rundu acting CEO, Sam Nekaro, who yesterday said they will not go against the directive issued by the line ministry last year which ordered local authorities to reconnect the water of those who were cut off previously for defaulting on payments.

This was done soon after President Hage Geingob announced a state of emergency following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

The local authorities were also ordered to ensure water is provided to those who cannot afford it, particularly in informal settlements.

Some residents, however, have found a loophole in the directive, opting out of paying for services because the local authority will not cut off their water.

Nekaro said unless a directive contrary to last year's is made, Rundu town council will not cut water provision to residential premises.

“The directive was until further notice and we haven't received anything contrary to that,” he said.

'It'll catch up'

Nekaro said residents who have opted not to pay for services are taking advantage of the situation, adding it will catch up with them later on.

He said people will still have to pay for the services rendered to them, therefore, residents should adhere and pay their dues.

Rundu owes NamWater millions of dollars, a debt the local authority is struggling to deal with.

Recently, Namibian Sun saw a series of letters from the water utility to local authorities demanding what is due to them.

Just last week, Katima Mulilo was moved back to prepaid water, which saw the town experiencing water shortages for a number of days.

A similar letter from NamWater to the City of Windhoek also made rounds last week.

Namibian Sun yesterday saw a copy of a notice from the Keetmanshoop municipality dated 24 February in which the residents who have defaulted on their water accounts are urged to make payment by today or their water will be discontinued.

When contacted for comment, urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni stressed that leaders at local authorities should engage residents on why it is important to pay for services.

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