WALVIS BAY – The Walvis Bay municipality spent N$21 million in 2020 and N$19 million in 2019 on sewer blockages as well as maintenance of the town’s sewer network infrastructure.
The council recently faced heavy criticism due to constant sewer blockages in all parts of the town, handling as many as 18 960 callouts last year alone, with more than 10 900 of those coming from Kuisebmond residents.
Municipal spokesperson Caty Sheya on Wednesday said that there is often an incorrect perception that all recurring sewer overflows are due to faulty pipes or the lack of sewer maintenance.
“Undesirable items such as sheep heads, fly traps, tyres, pipes, heavy duty ropes, fishing nets, clothing items, large amounts of fat/oil/grease and camping chairs among others, are often found in the sewer system,” she revealed.
“Items such as wet wipes, tampons and paper towels cannot break down like toilet paper and cause congestion in the sewer system.” Sheya said the persistent misuse of the sewer system continues in areas across Walvis Bay, causing blockages and overflows which place the health of the environment and communities at risk. “It also wastes council’s resources which could rather be used to extend service delivery to our communities. It is also hugely unpleasant and inconvenient for those who suffer the effects of a sewer blockage,” she said. According to her, another common practice is to remove the original manhole covers and replace them with temporary, easy to move covers or temporary toilet pots that allow easy access to the manholes for daily dumping or use.