Water Problems Persist at Coastal Town

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By Surihe Gaomas WALVIS BAY Although some progress has been made in repairing damaged infrastructure caused by recent flooding along the Kuiseb River, residents of Walvis Bay may still endure the discomfort of having reduced water pressure, particularly at night. Confirming this development recently, the Communications Officer of the Walvis Bay Municipality, Utaara Hoveka, said reduced water flow is mainly to allow all six reservoirs to fill up to capacity and to prepare the municipality as distributor to be more adequately prepared should another flood cause damage again. “So, this is in the event of emergency so that water can come from there,” stated Hoveka, adding that the full water pressure should be restored by the middle of this week, unless unforeseen circumstances emerge. Meanwhile, the municipality is assessing the losses that fishing companies may have incurred due to the drastically reduced flow of water and plans to come up with a comprehensive report at a later stage. At the same time, New Era learnt, some fishing companies have been feeling the pinch lately. Some firms such as Etale Fishing Company had to resort to trucking water from Swakopmund at unnecessary extra costs. “Our whole process is hampered, resulting in low production. We need more water but it’s a very costly exercise,” explained Etale Fishing Company’s Chief Executive Officer Silvanus Kathindi. “If we lose too much fish as a result of a lack of water, it’s too much to bear especially for an industry that is already going through a tough time,” added Kathindi. Similarly, operations at some factories were also seriously affected by the water situation at the town. The latest turn of events came as result of the recent heavy rains throughout the country. The rains caused the Kuiseb River to come down in flood with water gushing out to sea with immense force. However, according to NamWater’s Corporate Relations Manager Johannes Shigwedha, the massive flow of water to the sea severely affected the electrical infrastructure and pumps of the water pipes situated in the riverbed. “Forty water pipes have been knocked down by the floods and while we still had some water earlier in the reservoir, it has now completely dried up,” explained Shigwedha. These pipes normally pump 12 000 cubic meters of water to Walvis Bay every day. Yet, for now 90 percent of the repair work on this infrastructure is complete, as technical experts are at the scene to ensure that things are normalised soon. Both NamWater and the Walvis Bay Municipality have confirmed their commitment to secure a long term, uninterrupted flow of water supply to the town.

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