City water rationing averted

Part of the cost-cutting measures includes examining whether the funds spent on food and drinks at every event, including council meetings, are justifiable.

02 March 2020 | Local News

Windhoek mayor Francina Kahunga says the heavy rainfall experienced in the central areas recently has averted the implementation of municipal water rationing, which was about to begin.

“The receiving of good rains does not mean we should stop with the water saving measures that were put in place. Council will continue to encourage our residents to use water sparingly, as we do not know what will happen next year, in terms of the rain forecast,” she said at last week's council meeting.

Kahunga said the good rains have helped to up the levels of some water reservoirs, which were now nearly full.

She said according to NamWater the Von Bach Dam near Okahandja, which is one of the main surface reservoirs that supplies water to Windhoek, approached 90% full, as inflows continued last Thursday.

“The Swakoppoort Dam, another major reservoir that supplies water to Windhoek, was at 40.5% last week Thursday, with inflows continuing.”

Kahunga said the Mayoral Action Plan 2020 was approved at a special sitting of council on 19 February.

It was predominantly derived from the Transformational Strategic Plan 2017 to 2022 and contains projects and tasks that they collectively agreed to implement this year.

“I would therefore like to implore you that we must commence with the implementation phase now. As the overall supervisor, I will kickstart the implementation, after which I will start demanding constant feedbacks on progress, both formally and informally.”

Kahunga said it is important to keep abreast of the progress, in order to take immediate corrective measures in cases where implementation and tasks are lagging behind.

She said section 18 of the development and upgrading policy, which was approved by council in July last year, advocates for the establishment of an informal settlement development committee.

According to her the main function of this policy is to facilitate the efficient and effective implementation of informal settlement upgrading projects.

“If we are to succeed with the implementation of the Mayoral Action Plan 2020, the active participation of communities in all our implementation activities is of paramount importance. We must therefore ensure their participation at all times through the establishment of the informal settlement development committee.”

Kahunga said the establishment of this committee must be accelerated.

She said another important provision of the development and upgrading policy is the social compact agreements.

Section 7 of this policy states that to ensure community ownership of land development projects, targeted communities must be involved in the maintenance of the installed services.

“For every land development project, the City of Windhoek shall sign a social compact agreement with the community to give a clear delineation of responsibilities.”

Kahunga said the development and signing of these agreements must also be accelerated in order to give effect to the involvement of the concerned communities in the maintenance of the installed services, which will greatly alleviate the burden of maintenance work.

“In order for us to successfully implement the Mayoral Action Plan 2020, one of the most important factors is the availability of funds. Currently, as we all know, council does not have sufficient funds to cover all the implementation costs.”

The mayor said this obligates council to introduce cost-cutting measures, in order to save and use such savings to provide much-needed services to residents.

“To start with, we need to examine whether the funds spent on food and drinks at every event, including council meetings, are justifiable and examine measures to regulate overtime and examine whether it is vulnerable to abuse.”



ELLANIE SMIT

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