27 Jan 2018 12:20pm
WALVIS BAY, 27 JAN (NAMPA) Members of the Topnaar community at Utuseb village near Walvis Bay owe NamWater about N.dollars 900 000.
The debt accumulated over nearly three years for water used at community waterpoints.
Chief Seth Kooitjie of the Topnaar Traditional Authority told Nampa on Wednesday the authority is deliberating on how to settle the bill before the middle of this year.
The debt forced NamWater to cut the supply to some waterpoints in November last year. Those without water now borrow water from others whose taps are still open, said the chief.
The community gets its water from the NamWater pipeline with facilities such as taps and storage tanks provided by the Directorate of Rural Water Supply in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
There are eight water points with water metres that are managed by a committee elected by community members, who collect monthly contributions for the service.
Monthly contributions per individual or household are around N.dollars 10, but disagreements have led to many people refusing to pay their contribution.
Kooitjie said some refuse to pay because they feel the water usage is not fair, saying people such as those who have gardens use more water.
The chief said some people also have cattle and donkeys and there have been complaints that they consume more water than the average household without livestock would.
These are some of the issues the authority is deliberating on.
We have now approached the office of Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua for a meeting next week so we can request assistance to settle the debts through his office.
Topnaars are a Nama-speaking community known as the Aonin who settled at Utuseb some 40 kilometres south of Walvis Bay.
With a total population of about 300, they are known for harvesting the desert melon called !Nara, but also farm with a small number of goats, cattle and donkeys.