RUNDU - Acting CEO of the Rundu Town Council, Sikongo Haihambo has urged residents at the town’s informal areas to refrain from illegal water connections saying this illegality has affected the town negatively and in the end all residents suffer when all the water taps run dry due to council not affording to buy water for the town.
Haihambo urged the residents in the wake of a discovery of a recent illegal connection which was almost successfully connected in Ndama informal settlement but it was stopped by neighbours who unearthed the suspicious activity, the culprit was on the run and when the officials visited his place of residence, they discovered that he also connected water illegally which he shared with several of his neighbours.
“It was discovered that the plumber who pretended to be working for town council, was paid N$2 700 to connect water, and he told the owner to dig a trench where he would then lay the pipes from the main water pipeline into the residence and the plumber listed the materials to buy in order to get the water connected which they did,” said Haihambo.
When the plumber came on Monday, between 21h00 and 22h00 and started to make the illegal water connection, neighbours heard the suspicious activity and they approached him before he could connect the water and fled from the scene, they then informed officials from the town council who went to the scene.
“Obviously with these illegal connections our water is going to waste, council is not getting the revenue it is supposed to get from this resource. Water is being used without being paid for and when NamWater gives us the bill, all eyes will be on us and when we fail, residents will point fingers at the council. Yes, it’s us on one side but on the other side water is being wasted through illegal connections were water is not being paid for and they are using low quality pipes that cause leakages underground,” he added.
Haihambo noted these leakages are contributing to the wasting of the towns water resource.
“It has got an effect because NamWater will slap us with the entire water bill they won’t say we must pay little because the other water was wasted, now that is our biggest fear and for a town that is on its knees, we don’t need such activities, we cannot afford such,” he noted.
Haihambo is appealing to the community to play the role of informants in order to root out the activity of illegal water connections. “First of all, I’m appealing to all residents to be on alert, even if the person looks like an official from the council they must get in touch with our office. He lied that he was from the town council, he wore town council attire to make it look convincing, he had the outfit as he worked at the council as an intern sometime back and he knows the councils water pipeline and we are also suspecting that he has operatives within council, he knows the operations of the council,” Haihambo said.
The culprit came to report himself after spending more than a day in hiding, and since the police impounded the vehicle he used in the operation which was also not his, he had no choice but to come out of hiding. On Wednesday, he went to turn himself in at the town council. “I informed my officials that since the case has been handed to the police, they should hand him over for interrogations. Together with the police, we are trying to establish the extent of his operations and we want him to eventually go to court but most importantly, we want the police to squeeze out more information from him on his operations because we suspect that it may be an organised syndicate, it might be that he doesn’t work alone and on the basis of that knowledge and information that we get out of him, we will be able to act better,” he said.
Haihambo urged the Rundu community not to be involved with illegal water connection activities and if they want to connect water at their homes, they must make sure that they deal with bona fide council workers.