Fury at Mururani water rations

A community west of Rundu is limited to which days they may collect water and people say NamWater's silence on their demands is deafening.

14 October 2019 | Local News

Mankupi constituency councillor Lucas Muha has expressed frustration with NamWater, accusing the water utility of denying him an opportunity to discuss the problems the people of Mururani village face.

Muha was responding to questions from Namibian Sun. On a recent trip to the village some 130 km west of Rundu, it was observed that residents may not collect water every day at community water points and tankers.

They are only permitted to collect water three times a week, an unexplained arrangement which has been in place for years.

With the growth in population of the community, the demand for water has increased but supply remains limited. Each household is only allowed to collect eight 25-litre containers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They pay N$70 each time.

Since he took office in 2015, Muha said he was informed of the situation and has tried on various occasions to engage NamWater, to no avail.

He says the water utility has ignored his letters dated as far back as 2017.

“Namwater has frustrated me so much. I have not received any positive response from them,” he said.

Attempts to get comment from NamWater for the past two weeks proved futile. Questions sent by Namibian Sun were acknowledged by the communication department of the utility but no response was received.

Muha said he offered solutions in his communications to NamWater.

“The NamWater pipeline must be extended. What we actually need is the varied pipes to be there where the community needs them. That way those who want private uptake can take water directly to their homes with water meters,” Muha explained.





He added the community want the administration of water supply to Mururani be moved from the NamWater Otjiwarongo to the Rundu office.



The burden

Concurring with Muha are Mururani residents Mandume Paulus and Matias Tjimanya who told Namibian Sun that they want the water issue in Mururani addressed urgently.

They argue that it is inhumane for a human being to be limited as to when he may collect water, adding that eight containers for two days is not enough especially when they have large families and water is used for various purposes.

The duo pleaded that at the least, NamWater should put up prepaid water points in the community and if it is not possible, they should extend the pipelines to allow community members to draw water from these to their households.

“We are tired of this arrangement. We can no longer be limited as to when to collect water and when not,” they said.

On the issue of affordability, Paulus and Tjimanya indicated that is not easy to pay N$70 for the eight containers because the majority of the villagers are unemployed.

They indicated that collecting from private individuals is more cost effective especially for the poorer families.

Namibian Sun also visited one of the community water points where a number of children, women and men waiting in line to collect water.

Some of them indicated that they would spend three to four hours at the water point.

“As you can see some of us are tired, we have been waiting for our turn for a long time,” they said.

[email protected]

KENYA KAMBOWE

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