13 July 2017

Namibia: Old Sewerage System a Constant Headache for Keetmans

Keetmanshoop — Residents of Keetmanshoop, especially those in Tseiblaagte area, are complaining of a heavy sewerage stench around their homes but the municipality says the sewerage problem is not only a headache for residents but it as well.

The sewerage pipes are old, and the municipality says residents continue to dump refuse in manholes, causing constant blockages and an overflow of sewage into the streets and homes.

"The main contributing factor is not necessarily the old pipes but the items that residents throw into the manholes, which end up causing blockages," explained the municipality's public relations officer Dawn Kruger.

She attributed the constant blockages and overflow of waste from manholes to the dumping of things such as stones, bottles and other items into manholes.

She said the municipality has done its utmost best to upgrade the system and install new and bigger pipes to ensure a proper flow of sewage, but due to finances some areas were left out and can only be attended to once funds are available again.

Kruger further said the maintenance of the sewerage system at the town costs in excess of N$200,000 annually and thus it is important that residents are educated to refrain from dumping any item into manholes.

"Last year it cost us N$231,000 so it does put a strain on our finances, and that is why we are upgrading our lines whenever funds are available so that we do not spend that much on maintenance."

The residents New Era spoke to indicated that the waste scattered all over in the streets does not only smell terribly, but poses a health hazard to people, especially children.

Speaking from his home which was surrounded by sewage, Niko Kahuika narrated that he has experienced the problem for the last four years, and although the municipality maintenance team attends to the problem, it is only a few days before one of the nearby manholes starts overflowing again, a situation he said is not safe for children.

"It is very bad, and my children and children from the nearby houses end up playing with the water in the streets. When you report it they come and fix it but after a short time it overflows again. They need to change the pipes, we cannot live like this," he said worryingly.

Another resident Delina Swartz also called on the municipality to upgrade the system, saying it is long overdue as the current pipes seem small and have been in place for a very long time.

"Maintaining the lines have not worked for some time now ... it is about time the municipality replaces the pipes with new bigger ones," she said.

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