By Petronella Sibeene
Two broken pipes left hundreds of residents in the Hochland Park area in the capital without water for almost 20 hours during the weekend.
The City of Windhoek yesterday confirmed that two pipes, one along Robin Road in Tauben Glen and another along Kingfisher Road burst on Saturday morning and in the afternoon respectively.
Residents connected to the pipe in Robin Road had their taps running from morning though at very low pressure. They, however, ran dry by mid-morning and the situation remained unresolved until yesterday morning at about 10h45.
Those along Kingfisher Road and other houses connected to the same water grid similarly had to do without water from 18h00 on Saturday until mid-morning yesterday.
“Normally pipe bursts do not take that long to repair. It seems there was no emergency on their (City of Windhoek) part,” commented, a Tauben Glen resident, Tabby Moyo.
He added, “Some of us had to drive to the offices to relieve ourselves.”
True to the saying that water is life most residents, after hours of waiting without a drop, had to drive around town late in the evening hoping to chance late operating shops and take-away outlets, as families were unable to prepare meals.
“We could not cook yesterday evening. The only water we had came from the geyser and could only fill one pot. I could not rinse my clothes and also today we could not go to church because we could not bath,” said another resident who preferred not to be named.
Manager of Corporate Communications and Tourism, Ndangi Katoma, said the two pipes took long to repair because they are the main pipes carrying water to most houses in the area and thus maintenance workers had to first control the flow of water before repairing the pipes.
He attributed pipe bursts around the city to aging water piping infrastructure.
“The pipes are over 20 years and in that particular area (Hochland Park), we have not had any problems. This (the water burst incidents) will now draw our attention,” said Katoma.
A council meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, where the budget will be adopted and according to Katoma, consideration will be made to replace a certain number of water pipes.
Last year, the city made provision of N$5 million for a maintenance programme to replace 17 km of subterranean water pipelines.
Another N$1.2 million was provided to cater for emergency situations such as pipe bursts that have become a normal occurrence in Windhoek.