Cash-strapped Rundu plagued by water closure once again

29 Oct 2018 22:10pm
By Sawi Hausiku
RUNDU, 29 OCT (NAMPA) – The town of Rundu has been without water since Friday, because the Rundu Town Council (RTC) is unable to buy enough units to have its water connected.
Residents of Rundu and Sauyemwa have thus been entirely reliant on the Okavango River for their water needs.
The capital of the Kavango East region has been experiencing intermittent water closures since last year.
There has been no water in town and the surrounding formal and informal settlements from Friday, forcing residents including young children to go collect water in jerry cans and bathe and do laundry in the river.
The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RTC, Sikongo Haihambo told Nampa on Monday that the council does not have enough money and that as soon it gets the money, it will buy units to get the water to the town connected.
The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) placed Rundu on a pre-paid credit system and removed it from the conventional water supply system for more effective revenue collection after the town accrued debt of close to N.dollars 60 million.
“We do not have money in our bank accounts. If we had money, we would have been able to buy the units,” Haihambo said.
He said the council has this month not even paid its employees’ salaries due to the water crisis at hand.
“It is a question of cash flow and now you reach a stage where the cash flow is too negative,” he said.
Debts from residents, he added, have not been collected, placing the RTC in the situation of being unable to buy water units.
Haihambo could not say when the issue would be resolved.
This agency also met politicians at the river collecting water such as the All People’s Party secretary-general, Vincent Kanyetu.
He said the water crisis is affecting the town’s development as well as all the residents.
“It is about time now that NamWater and the Rundu Town Council find a solution to this unending problem. This is just wrong and these institutions must come clean,” he urged.
The principal of Rundu Christian School, Angeline Mbuze said her school has also been affected as learners had to be sent home by 10h00 on Monday.
“The school only has two toilets. Imagine now that there is no water, the foul smell coming from there. It’s a health hazard and is affecting our teaching and learning,” she added.
A resident of Sauyemwa, Maria Ndara said the situation is difficult for her as she has to go to the river several times a day to collect water for cooking and washing, which is very far from where she lives.