'Stuck without tap water since 2003'

The town council disconnected the three taps in an informal settlement due to non-payment.

28 October 2020 | Economics

We depend on dirty water from three different traditionally-made sources in this area. – Lukas Mbabi, Spokesperson: Ohangwena Proper Location

A group of Helao Nafidi residents on Monday started excavating a traditional well to use as their source of water after the town council failed to provide potable water to their informal settlemt since 2003. The affected residents live in one of the town's informal settlements, which they referred to as Ohangwena Proper Location.

Their spokesperson, Lukas Mbabi, informed Nampa during their excavation that about 200 households have no access to clean water at the location after the town council in 2003 disconnected the three community taps provided by the colonial administration. “We have no access to pipeline water ever since and as such, we depend on dirty water from three different traditionally-made sources in this area,” said Mbabi.

Residents pay N$4 per 25-litre container per day to receive clean water from privately-owned water points.

Mbabi said the town council disconnected the three taps due to non-payment, as most of the residents are unemployed and unable to pay their water bills or afford private water connections.

“We approached the town council to reconnect the old community water points or to introduce a pre-paid community water supply system, but the council was unable to do so for all these years,” Mbabi claimed.

According to him, the council's failure to supply clean water for the affected households left them with no other option but to excavate a traditional water source.



'System costly'

Approached for comment, Helao Nafidi mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa confirmed some residents are using water from traditional water sources in their respective locations after their water points were closed down “due to water loss the council incurred”.

Nghipangelwa said the council could not continue paying NamWater for such water loss, adding that the town leadership opted to introduce a pre-paid water supply system for the affected residents.

“Unfortunately the pre-paid water system is costly and the council is unable to get money for the system until now, but it will be provided to address the problem once its funding becomes a reality,” stated the mayor.

- Nampa

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