Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-While residents of the informal area of Keetmanshoop are crying for basic services to be brought closer to them, all of the municipality’s efforts to do this seem in vain. This is so because despite the municipality’s efforts to bring potable water and ablution facilities to the reception area, where most informal settlers at the town reside are constantly vandalised, leaving residents without the needed service, while the municipality is forced to devise solutions to render these services. Vandalism at the area is so bad that currently none of the eight public flush toilets are usable, while the only tap residents can get water from, is broken, as residents do not need to use their water cards anymore. But while residents enjoy free water from the broken tap, the municipality has to get funds to repair the taps, to not only stop the water wastage but to ensure that each resident pays for the services they use. Keetmanshoop Municipality spokeswoman officer Dawn Kruger told New Era that providing basic services to residents at the reception area has been a big headache for the municipality, saying nothing seems to work to ensure the residents have access to sanitation and water services. She said everything the municipality sets up to benefit the community ends up being vandalised, often by the same residents who require these services, and that the municipality has now almost run out of ideas on how to solve these problems. “It is very difficult. We have to look at alternative ways to provide basic services to these people on unserviced land. If you bring public taps and toilets, they are vandalised and it doesn’t matter how many times you repair them, they are still vandalised,” she said. She confirmed that the toilets built in 2015 are not usable anymore, as they were damaged beyond repair, and the municipality is considering demolishing them. She added that the municipality was looking at short- and long-term solutions to the vandalism problem in that area, but they have no solution in sight as yet. “It is a very big problem. We do not know what to do anymore, but we are working on possible permanent short- and long-term solutions,” she said. Some of the residents New Era spoke to were of the opinion that setting up public taps and toilets will always create problems, as no one feels responsible to take care of the facilities. “We want water and toilets, but as you can see public toilets will not work. Some people do not know how to take care of things. Some break it on purpose because they feel it is not their property. In the end the community suffers,” said Amalia Ndeumona.
2017-11-29 09:16:36 9 months ago