The Namibian (Windhoek)

8 January 2013

Namibia: Municipality Cut Off Khorixas Hospital's Water

SOME patients at Khorixas State Hospital are forced to use the bush to relieve themselves after the Khorixas Municipality cut off the hospital's water supply last week over debts amounting to close to N$300 000.

When The Namibian visited the hospital some nurses were seen fetching water from a green truck with a government registration number. The water was being used for the hospital's toilets. According to sources the truck brought water on Sunday after tanks storing water had run dry.

Patients at the hospital voiced their disappointment over the cutting off of the hospital's water supply. One patient said: "I am going to bushes to relieve myself as there is no water at the hospital."

Rocha Majula, principal medical officer of Khorixas State Hospital, told The Namibian yesterday: "We are aware of it (the water cut-off) and working on it but please contact the regional office."

The Khorixas Town Council human resource head and public relations officer, Eben Xoagub, confirmed that the water supply had been cut due to unpaid water bills.

Xoagub last year told The Namibian that "the Municipality cannot cut off hospitals' water as it's a place of patients".

According to sources the hospital owes the municipality close to N$300 000 in unpaid water bills.

In September last year the Council had also cut water supply to the hospital and the health institution used water from its reservoir.

However, the municipality's Eben Xoagub and the Kunene health director, Thomas Shapumba, had vehemently denied that the water to the hospital was cut.

During the September incident The Namibian's reporter was present when municipal workers shut the hospital's stop valves.

However, Xoagub had 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.

In September already the The Namibian was informed that the Khorixas State Hospital owed more than N$200 000 in unpaid water bills.

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

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