Rundu — Several businesses in Rundu have drilled boreholes without acquiring consent to do so from the Rundu Town Council, a town official says.
Amongst the businesses are local filling stations, lodges and guesthouses. Some boreholes have been drilled in residential areas.
These illegal boreholes are denying the local authority the revenue it normally derives from the sale of water to residents and businesses, council said.
In terms of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act No. 23 of 1992) and subject to the provisions of Part VI of the particular Act, the town council is responsible to supply water to residents within its area of jurisdiction for household, business or Industrial purposes.
Also, 34(b) of Part VI (Supply of Water) of the same Act allows the council to enter into a symbiotic relationship with the owner of an immovable property to establish, acquire and maintain any waterworks within the property.
"Rundu Town Council is in agreement that most big businesses have drilled boreholes without seeking authorisation from council; however, there exists some businesses like Rundu Private Hospital and Rundu Vocational Training Centre that have approached the council for permission to drill boreholes for which permission was granted through a memorandum of agreement," said the public relations officer at Rundu Town Council, Benjamin Makayi.
"Within the agreement between Rundu Private Hospital and Rundu Vocational Training Centre, we have a memorandum of agreement, and there are stipulated conditions such as boreholes to be metered and council to be taking readings of water level and water usage each and every month in order to compute their bills, as per the gazetted borehole tariffs for the financial year 2018/2019 of the Rundu Town Council," Makayi said.
According to Makayi, the council is aware that some lodges and service stations have drilled boreholes on their properties, however most of them have done so without following proper procedures.
"The readings that are taken from the drilled boreholes are a control mechanism to ensure that no excess amount of water is pumped from underground water sources, as well as to monitor borehole performance in line with the guidelines of water resources management
Drilling a borehole relies entirely on the council's approval and entities that wish to drill boreholes should only do so by approaching town council.
"Their requests will be individually assessed by town council upon which council will accept or decline. Those who have done so illegally ... will be subjected to fines for drilling without council's approval as per the Local Authorities Act," he said.