Rehoboth Baster Community

Schlip’s Water Problem Persists

Published by Jan 25, 2007

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The water supply to the village of Schlip has still not been reconnected after almost two years due to the refusal of the inhabitants to pay an arrear account of more than N$1 million to Namwater.

Many efforts have been made to negotiate a settlement between the State-owned water supplier and the Schlip community.

“It’s only the ordinary people in the village that bear the brunt over the last two years for the refusal of Namwater to reconnect the water supply, because the property owners at which this action is primarily aimed, can cope. They have their own private boreholes on their properties,” said the Regional Councillor for Rehoboth Rural, which includes Schlip, Trougott Claassen, during a New Era interview at Rehoboth this week.

Many of the villagers have since the start of the water impasse left to settle in other towns and settlements, together with their families and livestock.

“Most of those inhabitants still living in Schlip are either farmers, farm workers or pensioners, who can hardly afford to pay their monthly water accounts. Namwater insists the users pay extra per month to get rid of the arrears the people legally owe the parastatal,” said Claassen on Tuesday.

The inhabitants of Schlip, primarily farmers and farm workers, have had to cope for quite some time now, having to buy water from underground water borehole owners.

“Only parts of the village in which the poorest of the poor are living suffer because of this situation, which occurred because property owners indicated their intension to take over the official running of the village, something they had not done so far. In the meantime Namwater has no intention of writing off the debt of more than N$1 million owed by the majority of the village
population, claiming that it is not their fault that their accounts fell in arrears,” added Claassen, who said that he took up the matter with Namwater, but without success last year.

“We could not decide who would take responsibility on behalf of Schlip in signing an agreement accepting responsibility for the arrears. The matter had been referred to the Hardap Regional Council’s management meeting that will take place today in Mariental. I am sure it will be resolved during today’s meeting,” councillor Claassen said optimistically.

Source: NewEra