5 June 2018

Namibia: Khomas Council Spends Millions On Rural Toilets

Windhoek — Of the total budget of N$2.3 million earmarked for the rural sanitation programme during the last financial year N$1.4 million has been spent to construct toilets in Windhoek Rural Constituency as part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

During the State of the Region Address (SORA) last week Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua revealed that to date the council has successfully constructed 105 toilets - at Aubabib, Khanubeb, Noasport and Dordabis localities.

She said currently contractors have been appointed to construct a total of 72 toilets at Fam Versailles and Stinkwater.

The governor noted that initially the Khomas Regional Council had planned to construct 223 such toilets but this could not happen due to continuous land shortage issues. In the end, they could only start construction during the 2018/129 financial year. This, she says, forced them to reduce the number from 223 to 185 toilets.

"As it happens elsewhere in this region, the land issue still haunts us, as in some instances we had to pull off-site due to land disputes. At Khanubeb we could not finish constructing 38 toilets due to the same problem and we had to relocate to other sites," she said.

However, she reported that the first 27 units are planned to be handed over at Aubabib.

In terms of water and sewer infrastructure, she said, during the previous financial year Windhoek completed a multi-million-dollar project to provide individual house connections to recently formalised erven in the low-income area of Havana.

According to her, a similar project will be rolled out further to areas identified in Otjomuise, Katutura and Havana.

McLeod-Katjirua noted there is however a substantial cost associated with these projects and it can only be done as financial resources are availed.

Further, she added, the city is currently busy with additional projects investigating the further expansion of the utilisation of the Windhoek aquifer, as well as addressing quality concerns that were experienced in the past.

This, she says, is in line with the city's aim to deliver sufficient water of an acceptable quality to all its residents.

With the recent hepatitis E outbreak in some of the areas, emergency funding to the value of N$50 million was provided for sanitation and better access to potable water by residents.

The infrastructure, water and technical services department, McLeod-Katjirua indicated, is busy with a project to geo-refenrce all stand-pipes. This will allow for better and more cost-effective planning and installations focusing on areas that have none to very little coverage.

In addition, the department is busy with an expanded rol-out programme to assist with curbing the hepatitis E outbreak.

The city, she said, spent approximately N$1.4 million since January this year in the construction of more than 18 kilometres of pipelines aimed at exclusively improving access to drinking water in the informal areas of Moses

//Garoëb and Samora Machel constituencies.

As part of the hepatitis E and listeriosis project, the city has planned and is in the process to install 370 stand-pipes providing better access to safe drinking water, as well as providing an additional 88 running-water toilets in the various informal areas.

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