20 Feb 2016 11:30am
RUNDU, 20 FEB (NAMPA) - Rundu's water is safe for human consumption, the town council guaranteed on Saturday.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Rundu Town Council, Benjamin Makayi assured residents not to be afraid to consume water, because results from laboratory tests indicate that the number of fecal coliform bacteria in water is 0 per 100 millilitres.
The research was prompted after frequent complaints by residents on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporations Rukavango Radio Service that they fear the yellowish water could make them sick.
Makayi said the town council on 29 January this year embarked upon the microbiological research to determine if there was fecal E. coli present in water.
Samples of water from the Okavango River and other sources were taken to the Namibia Institute of Pathology in Rundu from where it was sent to a Windhoek laboratory for analysis, the PRO said.
E. coli (Escherichia coli) is the name of a germ, or bacterium that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. There are many types of E. coli, and most of them are harmless, but some can cause bloody diarrhoea.
Other strains of E. coli can cause urinary tract infections or other infections. One contracts an E. coli infection when coming into contact with the faeces, or stool, of humans or animals. This can happen when you drink water or eat food that has been contaminated by faeces.
Makayi highlighted that until now, no cases of diarrhoea or any other illness as result of consuming the water has been reported to the council.
The laboratory recommended to the town council to vigorously engage in chemical water analysis programmes in future to ascertain the chemical content of the water at the extraction, treatment and receiving points.
Rundu is located on the lower banks of the Okavango River, and most water used by the residents is drawn from the river apart from a small population that relies on underground water within the pockets of the town.
These are areas such as Kasote, Ngwa-ngwa and Sikanduko that get water from boreholes drilled in the 1970s.
Currently there are 20 water boreholes within the vicinity of Rundu and two water treatment plants that were built in 1967 and 1981, namely the Nkarapamwe and Rundu treatment plants.