Water supply and sanitation coordination decentralised

18 Oct 2018 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 OCT (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF)'s functions of water supply and sanitation coordination purposes will now be handled at regional level, line minister Alpheus !Naruseb has said.
The functions, among others, include identifying places that need water tanker services; pipeline extensions; prepayment card facilities; registration of new water points; maintenance repair; inspection as well administration.
Handing over the functions to 13 regional councils here on Thursday, !Naruseb said under the decentralisation policy passed in 2007, rural water supply and forestry management sectors were identified to be decentralised. The Khomas Region was excluded from the exercise as its rural areas now fall under the custodianship of the Windhoek Municipality.
!Naruseb said since the policy’s approval by Cabinet in 2007, the ministry has been working on all modalities and processes to implement it, however due to some challenges, the identified functions could not be transferred immediately.
He noted that the challenges, which have now been addressed, include securing appropriate numbers of staff members at regional level to ensure efficient and effective service delivery, renovating and constructing adequate office space as well as addressing the very poor rural water supply infrastructures in all regions.
“The ministry is determined to reduce the number of open defecation by constructing sanitation facilities in rural areas and intensifying behaviour change initiatives through community-led total sanitation that will see societies constructing their own sanitation facilities. This function is now delegated to regional councils,” he noted.
He further noted that for Government and its organs to fulfil its mandate of ensuring efficient and effective rural water supply and sanitation coordination across the country, there is a need for proper coordination among stakeholders, prudent efficient and effective utilisation of resources, planning, implementation and monitoring.
In a speech read on his behalf at the same occasion, Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga said the growth of decentralisation enhances participatory democracy and improves service delivery through the involvement of local communities.
“The most effective way to serve and be more accountable to the people is by taking government closer to the people,” said Mushelenga.