27 Nov 2014 11:20am
KHORIXAS, 26 NOV (NAMPA) - The high costs of buying water from pre-paid water meters has forced residents at Khorixas' informal settlement of Donkerhoek to resort to drinking water from a burst underground water pipe.
The burst pipe has been these residents' sole source of water for daily consumption and other household use.
Residents here told Nampa that many of them are unable to afford the water meters installed by the Khorixas Town council, and as such the burst pipe is their only means of accessing water.
Ismael Ubiteb, one of the residents, said many of them at the informal settlement are also unable to afford the fees charged for water.
'We do not have water at home, and we use this water to wash our clothes, for bathing, drinking and for cooking.They must give us water at our homes. They are just thinking about themselves,' he said.
Ubiteb further noted that sometimes residents wait for the hole around the burst pipe to get filled up with water from the pipe before they can collect the water.
The residents have also bemoaned the absence of electricity at the informal settlement, saying it gets very dark and unsafe at night.
In response to the residents' claims, the Local Economic Development Officer at the Khorixas Town Council, Ester /Nanus, said the council is busy with the roll-out of water and sanitation infrastructure development projects to cater for the residents' water needs.
On the provision of electricity in that settlement, /Nanus said the council only focused on the provision of water this year and that the project for electricity will only commence once the water and sanitation project has been completed.
'This is because the council gets limited funds on a yearly basis from our line ministry which is not enough for all the projects. This year we have decided to work on the water and sanitation infrastructure development,' she stressed.
The Building Inspector at the Khorixas Town Council, Shiveni Nangombe, who is responsible for the installation of the water meters in the Donkerhoek Informal Settlement, said people in that informal settlement do not want to buy water and as a result deliberately damage underground water pipes in order to get free water.
He said around 10 water meters were set up in the fast-growing informal settlement of Donkerhoek, but half of them are currently damaged and need to be replaced.
'Because they do not want to come and buy water from the council, people use objects such as spoons and stones on the water meters, which in the end breaks the water meters,' Nangombe said.
He however promised that the burst pipe will be fixed soon.