Water rationing at Okakarara hampering economic development

21 Oct 2018 13:10pm
By Mulisa Simiyasa
OKAKARARA, 21 OCT (NAMPA) – The water rationing arrangement between the Okakarara Town Council and NamWater is affecting development, the town council’s Chief Executive Officer, Erhnst Katjiku has said.
For the past two months, residents have been receiving water twice a day only - from 05h00 to 07h00 and 17h00 to 19h00 Monday to Friday and on weekends, from 08h00 to 10h00 and 17h00 to 19h00.
The agreement was reached to allow the town council to pay off the more than N.dollars 3.5 million it owes NamWater and to curb further increases.
Katjiku in an interview with Nampa on Friday said it is a sad situation, because most potential investors say the water rationing is holding them back from investing in the town.
“It’s a serious problem,” he said.
He added that his office is looking for solutions like rehabilitating the seven boreholes of the town council which supplies about 30 per cent of the town’s water. NamWater supplies the rest as per the local authority regulations.
Katjiku urged residents to do their part and pay off their debt so that the council can also clear its debt with NamWater.
“The problem is with us. Even if we demonstrate, the next day the problem will still be there, so every one of us should do his or her part,” he said.
The town council plans to meet with Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga on Friday to discuss the problem and see how the ministry can assist.
Okakarara Constituency Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu said an urgent solution is needed.
He said there are investors who want to start constructing a N.dollars 100 million hospitality training centre at the town in January 2019, but they are concerned about the water rationing.
“These investors do not want to associate themselves with the situation at our town, so a quicker solution is needed,” Kandorozu said.
Residents have also complained about how it has affected hygiene, especially with toilets going unflushed at their homes and in schools.
“The rationed water is not supposed to be used for flushing toilets. For now we are running to the bush when nature calls, which is not good,” said Hileni Tomas.
Monika Aktofel, a tourism and hospitality trainee at the Okakarara Vocational Training Centre, said the cleanliness of their kitchen and the general hygiene of trainees at the centre have been compromised since the system was introduced.
Some residents called on Government to assist the Okakarara Town Council in paying off its debt.
Okakarara has a population of over 7 000 people.