OMUTHIYA - Over 2 000 residents of Kaniita informal settlement in Omuthiya are still without proper ablution facilities.
Residents make use of four pit latrines that are filthy and smelly.
Even worse, they scramble for water as only one community tap is installed in the area, although there are several offtakes for the able ones.
Many residents have resorted to using the bush or open defecation when nature calls than enduring the smell from the rubberised toilets with no adequate ventilation.
In addition to this, the residents do receive detergents to disinfect.
Although there are some flush toilets installed in the area, they are locked by the town council due to the community’s failure to pay a service fee of N$2, which would be used to purchase cleaning materials, detergents as well as pay the personnel tasked to clean the toilets.
The toilets have been dysfunctional for over five years since the council put a padlock and cut off water. Acting town CEO Simon Nghuulondo acknowledged the situation but was quick to apportion blame on the community for its failure to take ownership to clean up and look after the toilets.
Government had set the year 2017 as the deadline to double the number of Namibian households with access to sanitation. Statistically, the quest is to improve sanitation from the current 34% to 70% of the population, by year-end.
However, the provision of toilets remains a challenge in many areas of the country.
The residents have thus blamed town council for not having their interest at heart despite government having instructed all municipalities, village and town councils to connect and provide water to communities during the current outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, they feel council should have unlocked the facility for the use under this period as people have suffered for the past years already. They further accused some councillors of having shut the community toilets after it was allegedly unearthed some were leveraging from its operation, an accusation vehemently denied by the councillors.
“In addition to failing to honour service fees, these people would always break into the facility and use it during the night, leave the place dirty. They as well steal water. So, the community have themselves to blame for such a situation, we made an effort to assist them but they choose otherwise,” said Nghuulondo when contacted for comment.
In addition, he said, council is ready to reopen the ablutions if the community arrange themselves and formulate modalities on how it can be operated and sustained.
2020-05-19 11:01:29 | 6 days ago