Keetmanshoop Residents Without Water

The Keetmanshoop Municipality is struggling to supply the town’s residents with water because of ageing pipes that regularly burst.

Residents all over town have been experiencing water shortages since last week after the municipality ran out of material to repair the burst pipes.

The head of the municipality’s Technical Department, Nimrod Swartz, told New Era 60 percent of the town’s water network is older than 45 years, which is way beyond the infrastructure’s life span and it needs to be urgently replaced.

Another contributing factor to the water shortage is leakage from the town’s biggest reservoir Donkiedraai. Leakage from the dam necessitated the municipality having to build a new bypass a month ago in order to clean and repair the Donkiedraai reservoir.

“The leakage boils down to a serious loss costing us [the municipality] about N$250 000 a year. In the meantime we have run out of stock to repair the dam and the pipes supplying water to the town. I sent an order to our suppliers in Windhoek a week ago, but they do not have stock. As you can see now I am calling possible suppliers in South Africa,” Swartz said, adding that the dam has been leaking for 18 months.

The water network mostly comprises of asbestos pipes but the municipality is currently in the process of sourcing UPVC pipes that are more chemical resistant and durable, as well as being cost effective.

In 2012 one third of the town’s annual water usage was lost to leakages.

In the same year the municipality received N$2.6 million from the European Union through its Finnish partner the Kangasala Municipality to repair the town’s water network.

This 3-year project is ongoing and the money is used mainly to replace taps and valves.

Swartz could however not give a broader breakdown on this project’s progress as he was heading to a meeting on the water shortage.

Source : New Era