OMUTHIYA – The Omuthiya Town Council has approved a decision to increase water tariffs by N$2 for the 2021/2022 financial year to offset the likelihood of NamWater’s anticipated adjustment.
The tariff increase will see residents falling under the low-income category, paying N$17 per cubic.
“The current tariff for our low-income category, townland consumers, reception area (Kaniita) and shack-dwellers federation is currently at N$15 per cubic, meaning we are charging them below NamWater charges. Medium and high residential areas are now charged N$20 per cubic in order to offset NamWater and subsidise the poor,” said the town mayor John Ndeutepo. He said the increment came into effect beginning of this month.
Previously, medium and high-income residential areas were charged N$19 per cubic, while the water utility is charging N$17.65 per cubic.
“In the previous financial year, there was no tariff increment effected as per the instruction from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. However, in the current budget, tariffs have been reviewed and amendments have been done, hence the adjustments,” added Ndeutepo.
On the brighter side, the mayor said council had already started crediting consumers, who were overcharged as a result of a rates and taxes error since last year October.
He said the rectification began in June.
“Those who paid more are being credited for the excess amount, and this process already started – and it is ongoing until all have been assisted,” he
Residents have been up in arms after rates and taxes were increased by nearly 80%, which saw some paying between N$500 to N$800 on top of the initial amount. This, according to the town council, was caused by a wrong rating that was entered into the system.
Furthermore, the mayor said council has made a budget provision of N$6 million to construct an elevated water reservoir to address water pressure issues in some of the higher-lying extensions. This acclaimed project will be a relief to residents, who would go days without running water in their houses due to low pressure, especially when there is a problem with the NamWater channel.
“Omuthiya currently relies on NamWater for the provision of fresh water to the town. On several occasions, NamWater failed to ensure adequate supply. Therefore, council has made it a priority to examine and study the local water resource with an objective to develop it to supply drinking and agricultural water,” he said.