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Gibeon’s sewage runs wild

A Gibeon resident, Niklaas Dawson complained to the Economist about contamination from open sewage running freely down Gibeon’s streets, as can be seen in the photographic evidence. The Gibeon Town Council said not to worry.

The Nama Chief’s seat, Gibeon is having its sewerage system upgraded but accusations of poor workmanship and a glaring health hazard, has made many residents not too happy.

Some claim conditions are so serious, it is affecting their houses.
Mr Niklass Dawson, a resident of Gibeon stated when talking to The Economist that the new sewerage lines are going through peoples’ houses and damaging them. “The people have not been consulted about this and no compensation is given to them for the damage of their property, and this is very disrespectful towards the inhabitants,” he emphasised adding that he has requested the [construction] plan but his request has not been granted. “Ervens are allocated to two people at a time without the people knowing about this, and this causes conflict while there is enough land for everybody in Gibeon,” he said.
He complained that the councillors do not care about them and that they are selfish. “Every time we have town meetings most of them do not come, only two or three will rock up,” he complained. He advised that a turn-around strategy is needed and that the people must be told what will happen in Gibeon. “Therefore things must be transparent, which they are not at the moment” he stated. He is also worried about the fact that Gibeon has not been proclaimed a town yet, while towns in the north with fewer people than Gibeon are towns. He advised the councillors to unite the people and to start looking forward for the future of Gibeon.
Mrs Desiree Theunissen, Chief Executive Officer of Gibeon, said to the Economist that the sewerage programme started in January and they are now in the first phase of the sewerage upgrade and that this phase will be done in June 2015. She urged the residents of Gibeon to be patient because they have many more programmes set for Gibeon, like the tarring of roads and upgrading the infrastructure. “Since we are still in the first phase of the sewerage upgrade, [we] did experience sewage leakages, but the situation is under control, and twice a week a team goes out to inspect and see what problems are still there,” she explained.
She acknowlegded that they did have a problem with the sewerage vacuum system but now the situation is under control and they have experts dealing with the problem. “The complaints were premature and if the residents are facing problems they should let her and the other councillors know. We are here for them,” said Theunissen. Her priority is to bring Gibeon back on the map permanently with development so that it can be visible and develop like any other place. She said the council is running cleaning campaigns and giving food to the poor.

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