Water meters to improve revenue collection at Usakos

USAKOS; The Usakos Town Council in the Erongo Region is hoping to improve revenue collection through the introduction of prepaid water meters early next year.

In September this year, an amount of N.dollars 5 million was spent to upgrade the town’s water reticulation system and the installation of prepaid water meters in the Hakhaseb residential area.

The money was made available by the government’s Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG).

Usakos mayor Gustav //Garobasen !Hoaeb told Nampa on Monday that in future, residents would no longer owe council for services rendered as is the case this year.

Inhabitants of Usakos’s Hakhaseb and Erongoseg residential areas owe the council about N.dollars 7 million for water.

“It is a difficult situation. We have learned that people are not paying their accounts on time and the amounts accumulate, so with the introduction of prepaid meters we are certain they will be paying,” said the mayor.

!Hoaeb explained that some residents who owe the council money for services rendered have inherited the debts of their parents who previously owned the houses and are now deceased.

Some debts are accumulating for more than 10 years.

He noted that the council’s constant efforts to remind people to settle their accounts has failed, therefore they plan to write off some debts and leave the remaining amounts to be paid off by residents.

“First we have to ask the Ministry of Regional and Local Government if an amnesty can be introduced – we cannot just decide ourselves,” he said.

He said council wishes to extend the construction of water meters to the Omugulugwombashe and Saam Stan informal settlements that have public water taps at the moment.

!Hoaeb noted that the N.dollars 5 million is only enough for Hakhaseb, and as such the council has requested an extra N.dollars 5 million for Saam Stan and Omugulugwombashe, which is yet to be approved by the Ministry of Regional Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (RLGHRD).

Herman Construction Company is the contractor for the Hakhaseb project.

The company employed a total of 35 people on the project, which is expected to be completed around March 2015.