By Staff Reporter
SWAKOPMUND, April 17 — Access to clean and safe drinking water is a basic human right, yet many towns in Namibia are struggling to provide this essential resource to their residents. The root of the problem lies in poor sanitation practices and inadequate water treatment facilities. In Karibib, a small town between the capital city of Windhoek and the tourist town of Swakopmund, residents have been complaining about the water quality, which is foul-smelling and infested with worms in some parts of the town.
Residents have been paying for brown water for a long time and are forced to buy water from local supermarkets for drinking, as the cost of electricity to boil water is expensive. The national water utility Namwater has identified the source of the problem in Karibib as a midge fly outbreak, causing seasonal poor water quality from Swakoppoort Dam.
The situation is not limited to Karibib alone. The town of Mariental, 200km south of Windhoek, is also facing a dire situation, where drinking water has been filthy and dirty for quite a few months. Residents are now demanding that the municipality declare a state of emergency for fear of an outbreak of waterborne diseases.
The situation is not unique to these towns either. The rest of the country’s water quality also fluctuates depending on various factors such as weather patterns, maintenance issues, and infrastructure problems. In some local authorities, residents and business owners that have suffered losses or damage as a result of the dirty water have started submitting claims against the municipalities.
Namibia’s water crisis is a reminder of the importance of investing in water infrastructure. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2015, goal number six of the 17 SDGs, particularly focuses on ensuring access to clean water and sanitation worldwide by the year 2030. Achieving this goal requires an increased investment significantly in water infrastructure or creating an enabling environment for private sector investors to invest in them.
The Namibian government must act to deliver clean drinking water for the whole country. It requires a significant investment in water infrastructures and finding the political will to make it happen. The availability of safe drinking water is essential for human health and economic welfare, and the Namibian government must prioritize the issue to ensure that the country’s residents have access to clean and safe drinking water. – Namibia Daily News