Playgrounds vandalised in Swakopmund

SWAKOPMUND: Children’s playgrounds in the Mondesa and Tamariskia residential areas of Swakopmund are in a bad state due to constant vandalism, a situation which disappoints the town authority.

Swakopmund Mayor Juuso Kambueshe told Nampa on enquiry Tuesday the town council is aware of the state in which the playgrounds are, saying the damage is caused by repeated vandalism.

He used the opportunity to advise members of the community to refrain from vandalising properties at playgrounds such as see-saws, swings and other infrastructure like toilet windows and walls.

There are around 36 public open spaces, gardens and playgrounds in Swakopmund.

“Recreational areas are developed primarily for children, and they should feel free and safe while playing. The playgrounds cannot be policed, especially at night when vandalism occurs mostly,” said the mayor.

Kambueshe added that generally, council has been struggling to develop recreational areas in the higher-lying parts of town such as Tamariskia and Mondesa.

He noted that this is because of limited finances, and because potable tap water is too expensive to be used for grass and flowers’ irrigation, and is not sustainable for such use due to the region’s desert environment with little water.

“The playgrounds in town suburbs, including Mile 4 and Kramersdorf, have been developed over many generations and are virtually free of vandalism,” the mayor pointed out.

He indicated that the town council is envisaging getting individual community members to ‘monitor’ playgrounds to deter vandals.

During the launch of the town’s Green Environment Programme recently, Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua also expressed concern about the bad state of playgrounds in Swakopmund, and advised the municipality to address the matter.

He said playgrounds are supposed to be clean and green places where children can go play, engage in educational activities, and keep them away from the streets.

“The way our playgrounds are now is not good – children will not even think of going there and play, so we need to do something. We must also have a playground in the DRC informal settlement, as there is none at the moment,” he said.

The existing purified effluent pipe network in this town works with gravity, meaning such water in the pipes is not pumped and put under pressure to reach higher-lying areas like Tamariskia.

The municipality endeavours to solve this problem with the construction of a large purified effluent reservoir, and the extension of the existing purified effluent pipe network currently underway.

This will provide water to all public recreational areas in all suburbs and residential areas in Swakopmund.

It is envisaged that during 2015/16, more playgrounds and gardens will be created in Mondesa, once the pipeline reaches the planned areas.