Aroab disconnects debtors' water

01 Aug 2013 07:40
AROAB, 01 AUG (NAMPA) – Fifteen houses at the Oosterheim Extension One residential area in the Aroab village have been without water for four months now after the village council disconnected it due to non-payment.
One of the affected residents, Veronica Cloete, told Nampa at the village on Wednesday that she cannot pay for water because she does not have a job.
They are required to pay N.dollars 260 for water every month.
“I now borrow water from a friend across the street, and she gives us for free because she knows we do not have money,” said the mother of five children.
Nicolas Rooi and Johannes Witbooi are in the same situation, and don’t know what to do to get their water taps opened.
They could not say exactly how much they owe the council, but estimated it to be above N.dollars 500 each.
Approached for comment, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Aroab Village Council Elsa Laubscher said the council requires all debtors to pay at least N.dollars 500 before their water is reconnected.
Laubscher said the first disconnection of water happened in the year 2003, and since then between 4 000 and 5 000 residents now owe the council for water services rendered.
The council cuts water supply to houses if the owners fail to pay even just one month.
“The council is open to those who want to make arrangements because we understand they do not have money. We told them they must approach us with the little money they have so we see how to help them.
The council does not turn away people with money, even if it is little,” the CEO said.
However, the three debtors this agency spoke to earlier did not know the council is open for arrangements to get their water re-connected.
According to Laubscher, the council hold meetings to explain these things to residents but many of them do not show up to make arrangements.
“They are also not supposed to borrow or be given water because it is illegal,” said Laubscher.
She said residents owe the council N.dollars 3 million for water and other services rendered since 2003.
“The council has the responsibility to provide water to residents, but they also have the responsibility to pay for that water on time,” explained the CEO.
She noted that unlike other village councils in the south which experienced water disconnections because they owe NamWater, Aroab was never disconnected.
The village is located 172 kilometres east of Keetmanshoop.