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Hoachanas Families Receive First-Ever Water Metres

By:Hertha Ekandjo
Fifteen households at the Hoachanas settlementin the Hardap region received conventional water metres from the Mariental rural constituency councillor Deensia Swartbooi on Friday.
Hoachanas is a settlement of 3000 inhabitants in the Hardap Region of southern central Namibia, located 55 kilometres northeast of Kalkrand.
These families have never had water connectivity to their homes, despite having the necessary infrastructure such as toilets, showers and a sewerage system in place.
Councillor Swartbooi told The Villager that Hoachanas on its own does not have a budget, making it difficult for its inhabitants to get any help when it comes to service delivery.
“There is so much to do, but so little from the office of the Mariental rural constituency. We do not have a budget,” she stressed.
She said for each financial year the Mariental rural constituency only gets N$25 000, an amount from which the water metres were bought.
Each conventional water metre costs round N$870 per set and were financed through the constituency office’s Social Upliftment Fund with a total amount of N$13 000. Beneficiaries are paying a connection fee of N$1000.
Swartbooi said that some residents have been collecting water at the councillor’s residence, even prior to her taking up office as councillor. “Water is the only resource residents are living from. So they should use water wisely and pay their monthly bills.”
The councillor said that a resident jumped for joy after 23 years of not having access to her own water tap.
Some residents are still waiting for their own water taps, a process slowed due to insufficient funds.
“This settlement is under the Hardap regional council. I have spoken to the acting chief regional officer last week and I informed him about people in need of water at their houses. He informed that 158 prepaid metres are still to be bought and delivered to the Hoachanas constituency,” Swartbooi explained.
In November, with the assistance from the German embassy, the councillor managed to install solar water pump at two resettlement farms in the area.
The majority of the Hoachanas residents do not work, and those that are employed work either at surrounding farms or as domestic workers.
Last month the constituency suffered from a shortage of water.
Residents of Hoachanas trust their problems of security, electricity and water can no longer be solved by the regional councillor who at times is not available to them.
They have been demanding that their settlement be proclaimed a village council to enable them to administer their own affairs and improve services. They believe the settlement has all the infrastructure and the population needed to qualify for local authority status

Hertha Ekandjo

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