Okavango Consumers Owe Over P11 Million In Water Bills

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Water Utilities Corporation in the Okavango District is said to be owed over P11 million in unpaid water bills by the domestic and private consumers, government departments and parastatals.

This was revealed by Okavango District Council (ODC) Chairman Gaopalelwe Ronald during the just ended full council meeting in Gumare this week citing that most of this debt is attributable to government Institutions at 34%, Council at 24%, domestic customers at 36% and business at 2%.

He encouraged all the government institutions and the public at large to pay their water bills on time to avoid disconnections and unforeseen inconveniences.

“It is my considered view that if we can all take responsibility in paying our water bills, the corporation will be able to meet its obligations without any struggle,” Ronald said.

Meanwhile Ronald said the corporation has a backlog of around 200 private potable water connections in the district. He indicated that to help address this backlog, the service of installing new water connection has been outsourced to a local contractor which started work at the beginning of April 2024.

He further revealed that the scope of work for the tender to fencing the Gumare Sewerage ponds has been changed from palisade fencing to that of clear view fence with incorporation of elephant buffer spikes to protect the perimeter fence from damage by elephants. He noted that the tender started to float on the 11th of April 2024 to 23 May 2024.

Ronald further revealed that the district currently has adequate water supply except for the villages of Nokaneng, Habu and some Settlements supplied by a single borehole such as Chukumuchu, Ghani, Nxaunxau, Qangwa and Xaixai.

He highlighted that Shakawe and Gumare Water Treatment Plants has helped reduce water shortages and improve water quality in Shakawe and Gumare including their surrounding villages which include among them Tubu, Mohembo West, Shaikarawe, Samochima, Xhaoga and Nxamasere.

However, Ronald indicated that infrastructure limitations in terms of lack of water network expansion in most villages pose a challenge for new private connections.

He further raised concern that the district constantly experiences vandalism practices on the Sepopa- Gumare transmission pipeline in and around villages of Etsha 1 and 6 mostly for livestock watering by residents and farmers.

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