30 January 2013

Namibia: Omaruru's Main Road Water Pipes Keep Breaking

BUSINESSES on Omaruru's main road, Wilhelm Zeraua Street, had to contend with broken water pipes for the past year, and according to them, efforts by the municipality to address the issue have not yielded any results.

One of these business people is Chris Johnston. He experienced many such breaks in front of his shop on the north side of the main road.

One of the alleged reasons for the frequent damage to the pipes is the large trucks parking next to the pavement under which the pipelines are situated, causing pressure leading to the breakages.

The municipality has erected signs prohibiting trucks from parking next to the pavement. It is usually long-distance truckers who travel to and from the north. This measure apparently is not working.

Last week, the pipes burst again and municipal work crews have dug up the pavement again to try and plug the hole.

"I have lost count of how many times this has now occurred. Each time it disrupts the community since the water supply is cut and it disrupts my business as a result of the pavement being torn up limiting access and creating an eyesore," said Johnston.

According to him, from a technical and engineering perspective, the situation could easily be addressed with the replacement of a section of ceramic water main with a high-strength modern plastic pipe. "Ceramic pipes have no sheer strength but plastic does. Till now however the municipality has failed to take the necessary steps to solve the problem."

As for controlling the trucks, the municipality was advised to erect proper signs and instruct the local traffic police to patrol and enforce this 'no truck parking zone'.

"I as well as the other businesses and residents along the main street have been patient in the hopes that the municipality would resolve this ultimately very simple issue. If they fail to address this by the end of the week, I will instruct my legal counsel to file a high court civil action against the Omaruru municipality," Johnston said.

The Namibian attempted to get comment from Omaruru CEO Edward Ganaseb, but he is on leave and did not answer his phone.

The acting CEO, Colin Guiseb, said the situation has been rectified - but the solution was only a short-term one.

"I cannot give you any other information. You will have to wait and speak to Mr. Ganaseb [next Monday]," Guiseb stated.

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