Gibeon sewerage system to be upgraded

23 Jan 2015 09:50am
WINDHOEK, 23 JAN (NAMPA) – The old sewerage system at Gibeon in the Hardap Region will soon be replaced with more efficient sewerage infrastructure to eliminate seepages and deal with the foul smell emanating from there.
A new gravity system, which will rely on gradually sloping pipelines to allow the sewage to flow naturally downhill into the collection network, will be installed at a cost of N.dollars 14 million at the end of January to cater for the 3 500 residents of the village, situated 60 kilometres south of Mariental.
The old system uses vacuum pressure for the conveyance and disposal of sewage through a piping network, and was installed at a cost of N.dollars 20 million.
It has been out of order almost immediately after it was installed here in 2011, resulting in the release of foul smells and sewage flowing into residential erven and streets at the village.
The unhygienic state of the sewerage system has become a great worry for residents of the village.
Some locals expressed their concerns about this unpleasant situation in an interview with Nampa recently, saying they are worried because their children play around the sewage water and their animals, especially the donkeys, end up drinking the dirty water.
Gibeon village councillor, Jeremias Gregory van Neel told this reporter that the village council has received N.dollars 14 million from the government to upgrade the sewerage system of the village.
He noted that over the past four years, the government had invested N.dollars 2.5 million to upgrade the N.dollars 20 million vacuum system to a gravity system, but the upgrade did not help much because of the hilly landscape.
“I hope that in the next three to four months the problem will be solved,” said Van Neel, while stressing that it is a very big project and could take longer.
“Gibeon residents should just be patient. The problem will be solved, as the money is now available. We will solve it (sewage problem) completely,” he said.
Martin Boshoff, an engineer of Brandberg Construction which installed the vacuum system, told Nampa earlier this week that the Gibeon Village Council failed to maintain the sewerage machines.
“The village management was responsible for maintaining the machines but left them in the control of the residents until people started opening and breaking the machines,” he said.
Van Neel, however, disputed this claim, and instead accused Brandberg Construction of just giving excuses.
“The company is aware of the situation of the landscape. They know that the landscape is not suitable for the current system,” said the councillor, emphasising that from the day the system was installed it did not really work to its best.
Van Neel explained that the landscape of the village is the main challenge to the current vacuum system, adding that Gibeon is hilly and not as flat as Kalkrand or Maltahohe, where the vacuum system was introduced successfully.
He told this news agency confidently that the gravity system will work better in his area.