Poor infrastructure blamed for Mariental sewage problem

29 Oct 2014 21:40pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 29 OCT (NAMPA) – The Mariental Municipality has been accused of failing to respond to the southern town’s sewerage overflow problem.
For months, residents have expressed their dismay on social media platforms and in newspapers, frustrated at the perpetual smell of sewage permeating the air.
This week, a writer to a daily newspaper said the stench was unbearable and that the town was ashamed to have to welcome guests to the upcoming Mariental Triathlon under such conditions.
Another lamented the continual sewage overflow near the sports stadium and truck port in town.
Approached for comment on Wednesday, Mariental Municipality Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Nghiwilepo said the sewerage challenges at Mariental have been occurring as a result of inadequate infrastructure.
“Towns expand and often we do not look at the capacity of the existing systems,” he said.
Nghiwilepo said to this end, the municipality has built a new sewerage pump station and an upgrade on the older pump station was nearing completion.
He said the old pump was located near the stadium, explaining why the surrounding residential area was often affected with the stench of sewage overflow.
“When there is a problem at the old pump station, they are usually the ones to be affected first, but I believe that with the upgrades the capacity for now is okay,” the town CEO said.
He however did not rule out recurrences of the problem, saying that as soon as demand increases and the pump experiences problems, an overflow is likely.
Asked what that meant for the Mass Housing Programme where Mariental is set to produce 268 new houses, Nghiwilepo said infrastructural capability has been taken into account.
“We have spent a lot of money to make sure the town can handle residential demand; that is why the new pump station was built and upgrades are being done,” he said.
Nghiwilepo added that the municipality has also requested Namwater to increase the supply of water to the town.
“We are requesting for additional capacity as in summer people use more water and it has happened in the past that the reservoirs run dry. All these processes take time,” he said.