Govt to fork out N$62.4m for lockdown water

25 June 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATO

OMUTHIYA



The ministry of urban and rural development has established that the costs incurred by regional councils, local authorities and NamWater to supply water to vulnerable and reconnected households during the 19 March to 31 May lockdown period so far totals N$62.4 million.

The amount is expected to increase as many regional councils and local authorities have yet to submit reports. This is according to a draft report compiled by the ministry and NamWater, which will be submitted to the ministry executive director.

On 19 March, minister Erastus Utoni issued a directive instructing regional councils and local authorities to provide water to identified vulnerable groups, as well as re-establish water supply that was previously disconnected due to unpaid bills.



Cost breakdown

“Costs incurred in reconnecting suspended water supply to defaulting ratepayers or customers as well as the provision of potable water in informal settlements with special focus on poor and unemployed individuals, households or families were requested to be accurately recorded and ringfenced,” the statement read.

“The total amount of N$ 62 478 178 is the actual cost incurred and needs to be approved before reimbursed to regional councils, local authorities as well as NamWater.”

Of this amount, Khomas accounted for the highest water usage, totalling N$45 million (N$12.4 million for Windhoek municipality, N$26.6 million for NamWater, N$5.8 million for Windhoek Rural and over N$130 000 for the Khomas regional council).

Khomas is followed by Otjozondjupa (N$4.4 million), Ohangwena (N$2.1 million), Zambezi (N$1.9 million), Kunene (N$1.6 million) and //Karas (N$1.3 million).



Not submitted

According to the report, seven regional councils and 14 local authorities have yet to submit their information.

“A proposal for the continuation of supplying water by local authorities and regional councils to needy and destitute families, especially in informal settlements, should be communicated to the ministerial task team for consideration, while the option to pay NamWater directly for costs should be considered,” the statement added.

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