The Tsumeb community is still advised to use boiled water after the town’s water supply was recently deemed unfit for human consumption, based on a microbiological quality assessment.
Through a statement last month, Dundee Precious Metals managing director Zebra Kasete said it was determined through routine sampling that the quality of drinking water at the mine and in Tsumeb is below human consumption levels. The conclusion was based on a microbiological quality assessment.
“To mitigate the situation, we have secured sanitary water supply for our employees onsite, while also engaging the municipality on how they can resolve the microbiological quality of the town's supply,” said Kasete.
Dundee Precious Metals is a Canadian-based international mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metal properties on the outskirts of Tsumeb.
In addition, the Tsumeb municipality has stated it is taking serious note of the tests carried out by Dundee Precious Metals on the quality of the drinking water onsite, where high microbiological traces were detected.
As such, the Tsumeb Municipal Council is conducting its own tests on the quality of the water, and will communicate results to the public as soon as they become available.
Upon enquiry yesterday, strategic liaison officer at the municipality, Stella Nangolo said the council is still analysing the samples and engaging relevant stakeholders.
She further assured residents there is no interrelated issue from health facilities that may be caused by the alleged contaminated water.
Meanwhile, water ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko said the ministry has been monitoring the water resource's quality in and around Tsumeb on a quarterly basis since 2010-2018 when the Tsumeb Smelter Project Phase I came to an end. This was preceded by the final environmental audit in 2017.
“Following information letters of microbiological contamination in the water the ministry wrote a letter of enquiry to the Tsumeb Municipality. So far, the ministry has not received any response in that regard,” stated Musheko.
He further explained that as per the permit, the Tsumeb Municipality: “Shall be responsible for pollution and take immediate remedial action should at any time there be an unforeseen occurrence of surface or ground water pollution in or outside the jurisdictional area that can be related to the municipal activities.”
Caption: Contaminated… The Tsumeb Municipal Council is conducting its own tests on the quality of the town’s drinking water and will communicate results to the public as soon as they become available. Photo: Contributed