Namibia: Water Infrastructure Needs Protection - City

The City of Windhoek has raised grave concern over the vandalism of water tanks and other facilities.

The facilities were availed as part of government's intervention to ensure that rural areas and informal settlements in particular, have access to reliable water supply during the Covid-19 crisis.

City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said the municipality has provided about 4.6 million litres of free water between 31 March and 9 May this year, translating to about 4 627 cubic litres.

The financial implication during the same period stands at N$149 792. As part of the Covid-19 preventive measures, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has strongly recommended the regular washing of hands with soap and water in order to ensure good hygiene. Amutenya said everyone has a responsibility towards the protection of critical water infrastructure.

"The City can redirect these scarce resources to other developmental needs other than continuously pumping money into repair of these infrastructure that are intentionally vandalised. We should take note that development is brought to us but to keep it, we need to maintain the development. Let us guard against vandalism," Amutenya cautioned. The City has so far provided 1 499 standpipes and 62 water tanks in various communities of Windhoek. The tanks are refilled on a daily basis. The City's spokesperson said they were also relying on community members to report any misuse of water.

"It is difficult to tell who the biggest culprits are, as we rely on the community members to inform the City on possible misuse of water. There were allegations that water is used for construction here and there but could not be proven, thus the City Police and bulk and wastewater departments are monitoring the situation. The issue of wastage is addressed by intensifying the awareness and education of the community," she noted.

Asked on how the overall water consumption by residents looks around Windhoek since the pandemic broke out, Amutenya said the water demand in general is significantly lower during the pandemic due to lockdown of some industries, schools, construction sites as well as non-essential businesses.

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