KATIMA MULILO – Residents of Sibbinda, located about 60 kilometres from Katima Mulilo in Zambezi Region, have been living in a dire situation as the area has been without water supply for almost a month.
New Era has established the water shortage is caused by low water pressure in the main NamWater pipeline that supplies the rural settlement from Katima Mulilo.
Those who are affected include the entire villages around Sibbinda, the Sibbinda constituency office and clinic. Currently the community fetches its water from a tap using a solar pump belonging to an affluent community member.
However, this tap is not able to supply water to the entire community, and as of recently the pump has failed to pump enough water into the tank. As a result the owner has connected a direct tap to the pipe underground where people are fetching water.
“Considering that it is a solar pump, people have to line up and wait until it is warm, which is when they can fetch water. However, these days it is difficult as we only rely on a small tap from the main pipeline – sometimes the water only comes at 03h00,” said a community member.
NamWater had promised to install a booster pump to increase the water pressure but up to now nothing has been done.
An employee of NamWater in Katima Mulilo, Martin Santambwa, told New Era they are aware of the problem and have been working tirelessly to attend to it.
“We are busy with investigations to establish why the water is not reaching that side. We have been pumping water continuously but it appears not to be reaching Sibbinda. Visible things like leakages were attended to – we also had an issue of an off-take at Mpaca base, but we isolated it. Tanks which were overflowing were also bypassed to try and maintain the online pressure, but it appears the pressure is still too low for water to reach that area,” he said.