OTJINENE: The San communities at Otjinene have been struggling to foot the bill for their water and electricity usage, leaving many of them in the dark and without a drop of water in their houses.
In an interview with Nampa on Monday, Otjinene Village Council Clerk Mbamunondjamo Kaahangoro said all water connections to houses of mainly San people have been disconnected due to non-payment.
He said persistent calls on them to settle their accounts or make feasible arrangements for payments with the village council have failed to yield desirable results.
“We found that the people simply do not have the money to settle their water bills. At least in the case of electricity, it is prepaid and they do not really owe the village council. They, however, now live in the dark because they cannot afford to purchase electricity units,” he said.
Kaahangoro said as a service provider, the village council cannot provide water for free as it, too, buys the water from the national water utility, the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater).
“Perhaps the office of the Deputy Prime Minister can assist to settle the outstanding water bills for these communities as we do not see any other remedy out of the situation,” he advised.
The Omaheke Region is home to a large number of San communities. Although many of them lived in smaller villages and settlements, an increasing number of San people have been flocking to larger centres in the region for odd jobs, where they stay with relatives – adding to greater strains in the relatives’ struggle for survival.
Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku recently committed to settling the outstanding water bills of San people at Epukiro through his office during a visit to that area.