Namibia: Free Water Reconnection to Cost Windhoek Millions

The free reconnection of unpaid water for Windhoek residents will cost the city N$8.9 million, City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise announced on Monday.

Kahimise made the announcement during a media briefing that took place at the council chambers to update the public, mostly residents in the informal settlements, on the latest measures the city undertook to help the public fight Covid-19.

He said the Windhoek Municipality Council approved an emergency response plan to help mitigate the risks associated with coronavirus, and the plan was submitted to central government through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development for funding.

Kahimise said the council resolved to provide free water to residents in the informal settlements for the duration of the lockdown, and the process of erecting standpipes to discharge free water to communities in the informal settlements has started and is progressing well.

So far, 1 122 standpipes, or 70%, have been opened and 1 200 taps for clients that were disconnected due to non-payment have been reconnected and the process will not stop until all clients' water supply is back on.

"Around 18 water tanks have been placed at strategic locations to provide free water in informal settlements. These are being re-filled every day. Additional tanks are being erected as quickly as possible following the necessary engineering and safety requirements," said Kahimise.

He added that various companies have come on board with sponsorships and donations to allow the city to respond effectively to the fight against Covid-19. The donations include N$3.3 million from the Social Security Commission which will be used for the provision of water, sanitation and other needed essentials during the challenging time. "Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) donated N$100 000 for water provision in the informal settlements during the lockdown and the City of Windhoek Mayoral Relief Fund donated N$300 000," noted Kahimise. He added that NamPower also donated 80 mobile toilets, while Namibia Media Holdings offered live streaming of media conferences, and the City will keep updating the public as more donations keep coming in. - Nampa

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