By Wezi Tjaronda
A pipe burst on the service floor at Katutura State Hospital yesterday forced health personnel to examine patients from the disaster area.
The disaster area is a big space reserved for many patients such as bus accident victims.
The pipe that burst between the first and second floors, sent water leaking to the human resources department on the first floor down to the outpatients department on the ground floor.
Senior Medical Superintendent, Dr Rheinhardt Collen Gariseb, told New Era yesterday that as a result of the leak, some parts of the ceiling fell in. Some documents that were lying on the floor also got soaked.
It is suspected the pipe burst on Tuesday evening, because people found the water when they reported to work yesterday.
When New Era arrived around midday yesterday, cleaners were still busy mopping the water from the two floors.
Gariseb said the hospital’s water reticulation system was old resulting in the pipe burst. He said luckily, Seasonaire workers who were on site working on the hospital’s hot water and air conditioning system fixed the problem by replacing the old pipe and repairing the leaking points.
When the Ministry of Health and Social Services experienced pipe problems last year, a group of engineers were tasked to conduct a survey and compile a technical report. Gariseb said the report has since been submitted to the capital projects.
“In the end we will need to replace the whole system,” he said, adding this would cost millions. The hot water and air conditioning being installed now cost over N$210 million. The hot water system is a combination of electricity and solar water geysers.
By yesterday afternoon, Gariseb said, patients were returning to the outpatients department.
Last year in July, the hospital ran out of water because of a pipe burst on the hospital premises. Health authorities say the water system is more than 30 years.