11 January 2017

Namibia: Uis Residents Without Water for 10 Days

Windhoek — The Erongo Regional Council says inadequate rainfall in Uis and Khorixas has contributed to boreholes running dry.

Nelson Williams Meroro, the deputy director for planning and development in the Erongo Regional Council, confirmed Uis has been without water for the past ten days, citing the dry spells as the main reason.

"We can only get our water from boreholes at Uis and if they are dry there is nothing we can do," Meroro told New Era.

He said the regional council reported the matter to NamWater and an arrangement has been made to source water from nearby areas that have a surplus of water supply.

"It's very serious and it can't be accepted," said Meroro, who added the regional council has had meetings with NamWater to alert them on the seriousness of the matter.

He also foresees more "serious" meetings in the next two weeks to address the situation. New Era also spoke to Basil Calitz, the manager of Brandberg rest camp lodge in Uis. He said the settlement has been experiencing water problems for three months now. "But for the last 10 days there is absolutely no water," said Calitz. He said that yesterday 20 000 litres of water were delivered at the settlement by the Henties Bay Lion's Club. "NamWater brings a truck with water everyday but it's not enough to cater for 3 000 people in the settlement," Calitz explained.

He further said: "All boreholes are broken and the pipelines are damaged. They are not maintained regularly."

He added that people who can afford to buy water from shops are doing so while the majority are depending on the NamWater truck. Meanwhile, a text message describing the seriousness of the situation at Uis is circulating on social media since Monday.

"I'm calling on every Namibian to please help Uis. Today is the 9th day the town don't have running water. Our people don't have any drinking water left. Most old people living in Uis don't have the resources or strength to carry a five-liter water can. If everyone of us passing nearby can drop off a few five liters of drinking water it will make a difference in a few households," read the text message.

Meroro said he was aware of the message circulating on social media, adding that the matter was "serious".

New Era also contacted Johannes Shigwedha, the manager for corporate communications at NamWater. He promised to follow up on the matter. However by the time of going to print, no feedback was provided.

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