Illegal electricity connections a problem at Opuwo

11 Jan 2017 10:50am
OPUWO, 11 JAN (NAMPA) – An illegal electricity connection is thought to have caused a fire that destroyed a shack at Opuwo on Monday.
The shack was erected next to a one-room brick structure at the Epupa informal market. A number of wires run from the room through the shack’s roof.
There were no injuries as nobody was in either of the structures at the time of the incident.
Namibian Police Force Acting Regional Crime Investigation Coordinator, Ndati Pekaha told Nampa Tuesday the incident was not reported to the authority in the Kunene Region.
“It could be because there were no injuries otherwise we would have been informed,” Pekaha said.
Fire-fighter, John Kautondokwa told this agency that by the time they arrived to extinguish the fire, there was no one in both structures to tell them what the cause of the fire may have been.
'The shack was erected next to a one-room brick structure at the Epupa informal market. A number of wires run from the room through the shack’s roof and the brick-structure caught the fire from the roof. This is why we suspect that the wires may have caused the fire,' Kautondokwa said.
Opuwo Mayor, Albert Tjiuma in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, pleaded with residents to stop connecting electricity illegally.
This was the third incident of a shack catching fire at Opuwo in less than two months.
In December, a shack in the Katutura settlement here caught fire during the day and while the owner was at work.
Another shack fire was around then also reported at the Otuzemba settlement.
In both incidents, the shacks were destroyed as the fire-fighter, an employee of the Opuwo Town Council who has other responsibilities as well, arrived too late.
Residents now want the Town Council to employ at least two fulltime fire-fighters.
Uatetere van der Merwe, a community activist, told this agency there are times when the fire-fighter is not available when needed because he is attending to other responsibilities.
Another concern of residents is the limited access, as there are not demarcated roads in some of the settlements such as Otuzemba and Katutura, causing a delay in response when fires break out.
“The fire-fighter may at times respond on time but is then delayed by the condition of the roads,” another resident, Munane Katjizembua, told this news agency.
Katjizembua said water points are also located far from the shacks, meaning residents are not able to extinguish fires themselves.
Approached for comment, Tjiuma said employing fire-fighters permanently is a priority for the Town Council but is hampered by a lack of funds.
(NAMPA)
UT/AS/LI/CT