Rehoboth residents are frustrated because of the precarious water situation in the town and a lack of communication between the community and Rehoboth Town Council (RTC).
They aired their frustrations on Facebook towards the council in regards to years of water outages in the township.
“For what should I pay my last money on water? I’m not paying this month for water I don’t have,” read the post. Several residents agreed with the strongly worded post and expressed their grievances.
Sonia Carew stated that the water supply disruption has been occurring everyday since Wednesday, 28 September 2022 and yet, they are expected to pay their water bills.
“When the flow is restored, for the first couple of hours, only wind comes through, and there after brown filthy water, followed by white liquid that smells like disinfectants, totally unusable. Through it all, the water meter is spinning like a rabbit on crack, and is pushing up the units. As a result, we are paying for water that we did not use,” said Carew.
To avoid going without water, Carew states that residents have been storing water in containers.
“But that, in itself, is also so selfish because RTC buys only a limited amount of water, and if my family would store gallons of water, for future consumption, how much would be left over for others to use,” she asked.
Carew stated that NamWater is not the only reason for the water outages but the old plumbing system of the township is also to blame.
“The pipes are old and keep on breaking. When a pipe break, it takes hours before we have water. In both instances, RTC won’t bother to inform us. It is only when we take it to Facebook that they react,” she added
Carew wishes for transparency between the community and RTC henceforth.
Rehoboth is one of several local authorities reportedly owing about N$1 billion to NamWater and over N$807 million to NamPower.
Landless People’s Movement (LPM) parliamentarian Henny Seibeb last month moved two separate motions that seek to address strategies to permanently write off water and electricity debts of local authorities.
RTC management committee chairperson Amanda Groenewaldt said the town owes NamWater around N$29 million.
The RTC has a cash prepaid water agreement with NamWater.
According to RTC spokesperson Desire Pieters, the council has been under pressure due to the prepaid water agreement with NamWater.
“Yes, we have a water situation with NamWater closing valves. We are in a prepaid system and buying water cash,” Pieters explained.
These cash payments every second day strains the council’s revenue, which is the cause of the frequent water supply disruption the township has been experiencing.
RTC requests however that residents pay their water bills respectively since non-payment of municipal accounts by residents will result in the disconnection of all services.
“In terms of the Local Authorities Act. The council cannot deliver services to those residents who do not pay for their services,” said Pieters.