21 September 2012

Namibia: Municipality Denies Cutting Off Water to Khorixas Hospital

THE Khorixas Town Council suspended water supply to the town's State hospital on Tuesday because of unpaid water bills.

The hospital has been depending on water from its reservoir. An official at the hospital, who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the reservoir water would soon run out.

The municipality's Eben Xoagub vehemently denied that the water to the hospital had been cut. "We would not do such a thing because it would put patients' health at risk," he said

"Before such a thing is done the relevant authorities will be notified beforehand,"he added.

The Kunene health director, Thomas Shapumba, who was on a visit to Khorixas, also said that the water had not been cut off. "There is water available, it is a lie," Shapumba said yesterday.

The Namibian's reporter was present on Tuesday when municipal workers shut the hospital's stop valves.

Xoagub said the two council employees who visited the hospital and were seen at the stop valves were there "to fix a problem" and not to cut off water.

The Namibian is informed that the Khorixas State Hospital owes more than N$200 000 in unpaid water bills.

It has also been learnt reliably that Shapumba and his entourage visited the local council's offices on Tuesday where discussions were held, including unpaid water bills.

A source privy to the discussions told The Namibian that Shapumba pleaded with the council not to cut water before the seventh of each month when bills are paid.

Despite the denials by the municipality and the Kunene health directorate, the taps at the hospital were running dry yesterday as the water pressure in the pipes was dropping.

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