Vries supports motion to write off local authorities’ water debt

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The provision of quality water to all communities is critical for human health and well-being, economic development, and the realisation of all Namibians’ constitutional rights.

This was said by Member of Parliament (MP) Diederik Vries in support of a motion by Deputy Leader and Chief Strategist of the Landless People’s Movement (PDM), MP Henny Seibeb to have Parliament discuss and consider writing off water debt in all local authorities in Namibia.

Vries in Parliament on Tuesday said the cost of water is a burden for people in Africa, including Namibia, noting that for a poor person in a developing country who does not have access to safe water at home, paying the high costs can be a huge drain on an already meagre salary.

Many Namibians, he said, are forced to compromise their health and dignity by using much less water or collecting water from unsafe sources, while many low-income families are burdened by bills for healthcare, rent, groceries, and other necessities.

“One unpaid water bill can trigger another, then another. Household water debt can accumulate quickly. It’s not done on purpose by our people,” he said.

He further raised a concern that the elderly, unemployed, and disabled Namibians face the most difficulties in their daily lives because they are frequently excluded from the labour pool and the marketplace, saying they also face multiple deprivations that do not respond well to single-issue policies.

“Human rights advancements and national goals for social equity have highlighted the value of all human resources, including Namibians who are elderly, unemployed, or disabled. As a result, developing strategies to improve living conditions for these affected Namibians is critical,” he stated.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency