Catchment pond poses risk to residents

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Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya-A catchment pond filled with rainwater within Omuthiya poses a drowning risk to those living nearby, who have to cross the deep water to access their homes.

Omuthiya residents say the catchment pond has become a mosquito breeding-ground and puts them at risk of contracting malaria. The pond, measuring six metres deep, was dug before Omuthiya was proclaimed a town.

Saima Shipepe, a resident at Okamukuku, says she has to cross the water daily when going to and from work. Her room and her doorstep are both flooded, putting her at great risk.

“Mosquitos are now the biggest challenge. As for the water, it is better now because it is subsiding a bit, compared to when it was above the knee up to the thighs. I hope the municipality will do something in future so that the same situation does not prevail,” Shipepe said.

Meanwhile, the town’s chief executive officer, Samuel Mbango, said the floodwater around the town will soon be a thing of the past, as the town council moves to implement its stormwater master plan, designed four years ago. At the moment there are no funds to implement the master plan that will cost millions.

“The master plan is ready for execution, but it is only the issue of funds to realise its construction. Anyway, for the past years we have not received such an amount of water and we fear it is still going to rain again.

“Other than that, we were just unable to continue with the stormwater construction along the B1 road, because the Roads Authority was still busy with the design of the upgrade of the road to a dual carriageway, hence we did not want to start, because we would jeopardise their work and in the same vein we could not put money in as it might have been wasted at the end of the day,” Mbango explained.

“We have thus far decided to incorporate our design of the stormwater channel with that of Roads Authority when they begin constructing the dual carriageway. We are anticipating they will start soon, so they can make provisions for the water to pass under the road.

“But if they don’t start soon, in the meantime we will have to construct some channels that can take the water from that dam to the quarries, which are on the eastern side of the town as per our design, although this will require a lot of money,” Mbango further elaborated.

Speaking of the expenses involved, Mbango referred to the 1.2 km stormwater channel, which was constructed in town last year. He says it cost the town council about N$3 million to construct.

“We are aware of the problem. There is even a road passing through that pond, but it could not be developed before we can construct the channel. For now we will turn it into a catchment pond to collect all the water before we can divert the water somewhere. After that we can proceed to construct the road,” he noted.

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