Residents of Gobabis in the Omaheke Region are up in arms against the municipality for the water crisis that has struck the town for nearly four days.
Some residents claim they drink beer to quench their thirst because there is no water.
The residents accused the municipality of not engaging with them on the cause of the water cut nor the arrangements in place to mitigate the problem, saying this has been a recurring phenomenon for the past weeks and they can no longer go on living under such conditions.
The crisis has struck the town since last week Friday.
Gobabis community leader, Wallace Finnies, informed New Era of the crisis yesterday, saying, “The crisis has even led to shop owners to increase the price of bottled water because the demand has been high lately, and it is crippling us financially. At least if they (municipality) were engaging with us so we can know what is the root cause of the frequent water cuts it was going to be helpful to us to know what to expect in the future.”
He further said the municipality has not put in place measures to assist the residents with water not even from the reservoir. “Municipality is aware of this issue but they are reluctant to make provisions for future backup, yet now we are at the receiving end of going to work dirty and with no water to use for cooking,” Finnies complained.
He said some residents now are resorting to “drinking alcohol” to quench their thirst.
However, when contacted for comment, the public relations officer of Gobabis, Frederick Ueitele, told this reporter that municipality had requested the residents to provide their mobile numbers so that they can be informed on all matters concerning them (residents).
“Residents who provided us with their mobile numbers are being informed on the proceedings only those that did not provide are not informed and it was unfortunate that the unpredictable situation happened,” said Ueitele, clarifying the miscommunication accusations.
He explained that the crisis was caused by the main supplying pipe that burst and he was certain the situation is being addressed as a matter of great urgency.
Further, Ueitele assured residents that the broken pipeline would be repaired latest by Monday afternoon.
Regarding alternative plans, Ueitele said the problem is that infrastructure is now too old that is why they experienced the water crisis. “Necessary funding has been put aside to carter for maintenance and replacement of the old pipes,” said Ueitele.