THE Omaheke regional council has been making headway with the implementation of capital projects, mainly due to the recruitment of in-house technical staff members.
Tauno Iileka, spokesperson at the regional council, stated that before the recruitment of internal technical staff, the regional council relied entirely on external consulting engineers to supervise its capital projects whose professional fees meant a reduction in the project’s scope of work.
“With an in-house technical staff complement, most of the capital projects are now supervised and coordinated internally. The planning, feasibility studies, design and documentation phases of the project are also done internally. Therefore, the challenges the regional council has faced over the years related to the implementation of capital projects are fast becoming areas of improvement,” Iileka said.
He further stated that challenges faced were mainly due to some consultants failing to supervise projects efficiently and some contractors lacking the capacity to efficiently execute projects, resulting in slow execution of projects and poor workmanship.
“Most of the capital projects are aimed at increasing serviced land by providing water and sewerage services, as well as roads and solid waste management services in the settlements,” Iileka stated.
Two projects have recently been completed at two of the biggest settlements in the region, namely Epukiro Post 3 and Tallismanus, with 73 erven connected to the sewer system in Tallismanus and the installation of two boreholes at Epukiro Post 3.
Iileka stated that residents of Epukiro Post 3 were subjected to salty water, which is not suitable for human consumption.
With the installation of the boreholes, however, residents now have access to potable water.
Additionally, the sewerage pump station in Epukiro Post 3 will be rehabilitated during the current financial year in order to improve the sewerage system in the settlement.
Two boreholes are also being installed at Buitepos and are aimed at increasing water supply at this border settlement. This project, which started in January 2019, is expected to be completed towards the end of August 2019.
Iileka, however, stated that while continuous maintenance of infrastructure is necessary to ensure longevity and efficiency, communities are encouraged to refrain from vandalising and misusing the infrastructure.
Blockages of sewerage systems have been reported in some settlements as unsuitable and solid waste household items are flushed down the systems, which costs the regional council substantive amounts to repair.
He further stated that such blockages have caused overflowing of sewer water from manholes, creating sewer ponds – a breeding ground for water-borne diseases such as Cholera, Dysentery, Hepatitis E and others.
Furthermore, some community members use this sewer water as drinking ponds for their livestock, thereby aggravating the unhealthy conditions in settlements.