Goreangab residents use contaminated water

Lahja Nashuuta and Jeremiah Ndjoze Windhoek-Residents of Goreangab informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek have resorted to using untreated seepage water from the heavily contaminated nearby dam, which flows into surrounding riverbeds, for domestic use, a New Era investigation can reveal.
Issues raised by residents include the scarcity of potable water in the area, the unaffordability of municipal water cards, lack of awareness on the health implications and the sheer ignorance among some of the residents of the sprawling settlement next to the Goreangab Dam.
Rosalia Athingo, a resident in the area for the past six years, told New Era that people use the dam’s downstream water in their households – for bathing, laundry and washing dishes only, but not for drinking purposes.
Athingo maintained that although she has a municipal card that she recharges monthly, it does not guarantee she has enough clean water to cater for all her domestic requirements.
She lamented the fact that her residence is located some five kilometres from the water points and she does not have a vehicle that could carry sufficient containers.
Athingo said some residents have resorted to using ash that they collect from the fire as a water purification agent.
She said the ash is sprinkled in the water and left to settle down, after which the residents assume that the water is clean enough to use.
“Through this formalisation we will then address issues such as the lack of potable water and sanitation,” Kazapua said.
“As a short-term plan we have identified areas in the most affected informal settlements where we will erect toilets and taps for potable water in order to counteract the current spread of the hepatitis E virus,” Kazapua added.
It contains faeces and now that we are trying to mitigate the spread of the hepatitis E outbreak, we are strongly discouraging people from getting anywhere close to this water,” Shiwedha said.

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