Windhoek residents did not save water in October. At a media briefing yesterday the city’s manager of corporate communication and customer care, Joshua Amukugo, confirmed that the target of saving 25 percent on water consumption was reached last month and that instead Windhoekers used 12,5 more water overshooting the set target.
“We want to save 25 percent per month but we consumed 12,5 percent more,” City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya explained. In September the municipality announced that residents had already consumed the water supply intended for October. “It is worth mentioning that in October we consumed less water, compared to September, although not within the target,” Amukugo added.
Efforts to save water
Amukugo said it shows the public understands the water scarcity situation and clearly there are some who are responding to the call to save water. The City has implemented a number of programmes, including continuous patrols around the city to monitor and enforce water saving mechanisms at individual and business level, especially car washes and construction sites.
He said the municipality also started to disconnect all public lawns watered with potable water, including at schools: “The City of Windhoek’s lawn – even here at the head office – is no longer being watered. That’s how serious the water situation is.” Amukugo said also there is no improvement among car wash businesses in using water sparingly, or adhering to the use of buckets instead of hosepipes.
Amukugo said they would focus on demand side, which includes but is not limited to tariff structuring aimed at reducing consumption, and constant stakeholder engagement. It also includes implementation and enforcement of drought regulations, pertaining to the watering of gardens, covering and filling of pools and other non-potable forms of domestic water consumption.
Replacement of communal water stands
Amukugo said the City embarked on a project to replace the conventional communal water standpipes in Otjomuise Extensions 6 and 7 with communal prepaid water standpipes. He said so far, 56 prepaid water meters have already been installed in the area: “The replacement is being done as a result of high water wastage from the conventional communal water taps, as observed during the water usage inspection in the affected area.”
Amukugo further noted that Otjomuise Extensions 6 and 7 are surrounded by thousands of houses owned by people who settled there unprocedurally and who depend on the conventional communal standpipes that will soon be replaced. He said: “It is expected that the pre-paid water stands will also generate revenue for the city, in comparison with the communal water stand pipes. The access to prepaid [water] will be extended to all people residing in the area, despite their status.”