Namibia: Keetmanshoop Opens Defaulting Residents' Water Taps

30 March 2020

As part of measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, the Keetmanshoop town council last week resolved to open water taps of residents having outstanding municipal debts to enable them to have proper sanitation.

"In response to the national state of emergency declared by the president, over the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Keetmanshoop municipality heeded the call and decided to reconnect all water metres previously disconnected as a result on non-payment," explained its public relations officer Dawn Kruger.

She added no reconnection fees will be required but she informed municipal customers that they will be obliged to pay charges for normal water consumption during the interim period.

"Furthermore, the municipality set up five 2 500-litre water tanks at strategic points in Tseiblaagte and Krönlein, she continued. Kruger went on that these tanks will be monitored and filled regularly with borehole water and that the water will only be suitable for hand washing.

This intervention was one of those implemented as precautionary towards the coronavirus. In addition, it has been resolved that health teams will be send out regularly to sensitise community members in the informal settlements on the importance of keeping proper hygienic conditions.

"Council has furthermore reviewed the situation of street hawkers and then resolved to re-allow them to continue with their business at open spots allocated," Kruger said.

She added that health workers will however carry out random inspections at these stalls in order to enforce precautionary measures as announced.

"We (council) have further advised the hawkers on the hygienic risks attached to their means of operation and that they should cater from their own pockets for sanitation products, hand gloves and masks," she stated.

In terms of shebeens, she explained council has no jurisdiction on determining their operating hours and that this is rather an issue to be addressed by the law enforcement agencies.

"Council hereby urge all our residents to adhere to the national directive on social distancing and the restrictions on public gathering of no more than 10 people at any stage."

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