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Ongwediva to address over-flowing sewerage problem

2018-10-01  Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva to address over-flowing sewerage problem

ONGWEDIVA - The Ongwediva Town Council is exploring avenues to alleviate the plight of its residents living along the sewerage pond stream from continuously being flooded and being exposed to an unhygienic atmosphere.

Apart from looking into sourcing funds to put a treatment plant, which will allow the council, in the long run, to recycle the water for irrigation purposes, the council has also ventured into negotiations to relocate about eight affected homesteads.
Chief Executive Officer at the Ongwediva Town Council, Damian Egumbo, without revealing how much is needed to compensate the affected households, said the affected communities have agreed and signed to be compensated.

“But that does not solve our problem because the water affects people downstream,” Egumbo said as he stressed the need for a treatment plant. Egumbo, however, said the treatment plant was estimated at N$265 million in 2009 but the price could have escalated to over N$400 million now.

“But there are other cheaper technologies on the market to explore, and that is what we are looking into now,” said Egumbo.

According to the last census statistics, there are about 20,600 residents in Ongwediva with about 6,800 homesteads connected to the council’s sewerage system.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who was familiarising herself with the situation at the ponds, could not assure government commitment to the project.

The prime minister said while a permanent solution is vital, the country is challenged with inadequate resources and calls on everyone to find other solutions to cope with the situation of reduced financial resources.
She advised the council to venture into a partnership with the private sector in addressing the problem.

“We urgently need a solution.  The negative implication far outweigh scost-saving measures, it could be investment, disease outbreak and that would cost the government much more than the situation at hand,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

Plans to set up a combined sewerage system for Ongwediva and Oshakati are still on the cards, however, there are no budget provisions made to that effect.

The idea, which emanated from the 2008 floods, was geared towards getting a much bigger facility that will serve both towns.

However, 10 years later only the feasibility and preliminary sketches of the infrastructure are available, according to Egumbo.

Amid financial constraints, the prime minister once again stressed that the council should find other means rather than relying on the budget otherwise the council would wait forever.

2018-10-01  Nuusita Ashipala

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