Governor intervenes in Zambezi water crises

04 Feb 2016 16:50pm
KATIMA MULILO, 04 FEB (NAMPA) – An emergency meeting has been scheduled between the Zambezi Regional Council and the Katima Mulilo Town Council to discuss the water cut off at different ministries instituted on Wednesday.
The meeting was scheduled to take place Thursday.
Town council chief executive officer Charles Nawa told Nampa on enquiry Thursday that the governor has summoned the council to present invoices of outstanding debts which resulted in Government directorates’ water meters being locked.
The meeting aims to find a solution to have water supply restored.
Nawa said in the same meeting the council will further provide proof of how much it is owed in rates and taxes, including how much it spends on buying water for consumption from the NamWater utility.
“We are ready to present all and sundry. We mean serious business. The debts of the ministries are running into thousands and millions of dollars. We want this all to be paid up as we are finding it hard to pay for water consumption every two weeks or a month.
“As we speak, NamWater is to be issued a cheque of over N.dollars 500 000 today (Thursday) if paid up residents are to have running water this weekend and the next few weeks. Where do our debtors think we get money if they are failing to pay? The NamWater prepaid system in place is costly,” Nawa said.
On Wednesday, the council cut the water supply to Government buildings, including the hospital, due to incurred high debts dating from 2015.
Records indicate that the Ministry of Works and Transport tops the list of debtors with arrears of N.dollars 3.8 million, followed by the Katima Mulilo State Hospital, which falls under the Ministry of Health and Social Services, with a debt of N.dollars 800 000.
Water meters were also locked at the Katima Mulilo Police Station, which is sitting with a debt of N.dollars 288 000, including the Ministry of Agriculture’s forestry directorate with arrears of N.dollars 400 000.
The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, in which the Katima Mulilo sports complex falls under, acquired a debt of N.dollars 170 000 between December 2015 and January 2016.
The different business complexes within Katima Mulilo owe a combined N.dollars 16 million, and that no single resident of the Chotto informal settlement who is connected to a water meter, has honoured to pay their rates and taxes.
The water at the Katima Mulilo Open Market, which is outsourced by the council, also had its taps locked, as its arrears run over N.dollar 300 000.
When Nampa visited the market on Thursday, several cubicles of small and medium enterprises operating traditional food eateries, were not open for business as they have no running water and access to flushing toilets.
The fish market was also closed.
A car wash operating at the same complex was also shut down for business, with some if its employees sitting idle in the carport shades.