KAMANJAB – Various departments in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) have been without electricity for periods of two years and some remain without power even after the outstanding bills were settled about three weeks ago.
Three weeks ago, some arrears were paid to Nored and Cenored but the situation at some departments under this ministry remains the same.
Some of the directorates at Khorixas, Kamanjab and Erwee have been without electricity for the past two years and employees in the ministry are compelled to type official documents and they use their own mobile numbers to make work-related phone calls, New Era can reveal.
New Era has established through various sources that the debt owed to Cenored stands at more than N$300 000 although MAWF senior spokesperson Margeret Kalo refused to reveal the exact amount saying “The finance department advised us there is no need to indicate (the amount) as long as it is paid.”
A high-ranking Cenored official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed several MAWF offices have had their power disconnected over the past two years over outstanding electricity bills.
“The money was paid in bulk and breakdown has to be made as the payment is for various departments of the ministry in Kamanjab, Outjo and Erwee, but as we speak they do not have electricity,” said a senior Cenored official. Another source said MAWF offices at Fransfontein Bergsig and the directorate of veterinary services office at Khorixas have also been without electricity.
An agriculture official stationed at Khorixas told this publication they frequently received phone calls from their head-office over the issue.
Directorate of Veterinary Service (DVS) office at Kamanjab has been without electricity for the past two years and resorted to a diesel generator.
“We don’t have electricity and we had to resort to a diesel generator for nearly a year and we struggled to do our work,” moaned an employee.
Also, at Kamanjab, the Agriculture Development Centre (ADC) had its electricity disconnected for nearly two years before it was restored early this year.
At Khorixas, the Directorate of Rural Water Supply (RWS) electricity has been disconnected for two years and its employees use Directorate of Agriculture Production, Extension and Engineering Services (DAPEES) offices which are based in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MEAC) building for the Kunene Region’s directorate of education regional offices.
“The RWS employees have been making use of our offices to do the printing or faxing as electricity is cut-off for years now,” said a DAPEES staff.