WINDHOEK - Residents of Ongulumbashe informal settlement in Okuryangava are concerned about possible health hazards emanating from five broken manholes in the area that have been flowing for months without being attended to by authorities.
Section leaders in the area who requested anonymity said they reported the matter to the municipal sewerage management and maintenance department since April but nothing has been done to date.
Worryingly, children from the settlement play along or in the streams that has smelly and dirty water. During a visit to the settlement, a barefooted minor was spotted in the water while his unsupervised friends where playing along the riverbed that is covered with faeces.
Ongulumbashe section leaders added they also reported about 10 dysfunctional toilets. Another issue of concern, they said, was that the communal tap in the area is right behind the public toilets.
With the outbreak of Hepatitis E in the capital city, residents in the area use riverbeds to relieve themselves when nature calls. One section leader informed New Era that about four cases of the outbreak were recorded in the settlement.
Furthermore, the leader also wanted to know when the municipality would demarcate erven in the area, in order to ease the issue of housing. He said they have been residents of the settlement for 26 years.
City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said Ongulumbashe should rest assured that the matter of overflowing manholes is receiving full attention as the matter of urgency.
“I would like to encourage the public to always report [these matters] to 061- 290 2402/2162,” she said, referring to municipal emergency telephone numbers.
“In the same breath, although the City tries to ensure that facilities are repaired and maintained, we have noted with concern that most municipality facilities are vandalised as soon as they are operational again,” stated Amutenya.
She added that members of public should take note that the facilities are meant to improve their standards of living and therefore should look after them as their own.
Amutenya further said demarcation process for Kilimandjaro and Babylon is not yet concluded, however the process to finalise the layout has started and sorting out some pending issues including the appointment of the planning consultant to complete the task this year still. “ Once the layout is finalised and approved, the demarcation process would thereafter commence. However, the community leaders and the constituency councillor are well up-to-date with this progress through continuous engagements aimed at providing feedback on community related matters. She said the meeting took place on July 11, 2018 at the Nathanael Maxwilili centre, where the Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise met with the constituency councillor and the community leaders and updates the resident accordingly.