Water crisis hits Walvis Bay state hospital

Eileen van der Schyff

The Walvis Bay state hospital is in peril once more. The hospital ran out of water this week and the situation deteriorated as toilets became filthy and unhygienic and there are reports from members of the public that there was no water to wash new born babies.
This crisis follows less than a month after a severe food crisis hit all four state hospitals in Erongo, prompting the public, the business community and the regional government to donate food items and bringing into being a crisis food bank. [The food crisis is still ongoing.]
A woman phoned namib times yesterday and complained the hospital has been with-out water for five days. The newspaper took the matter up with the Acting Regional Health Director, Dr Amir Shaker, who confirmed there was a water pipe rupture. Counter to allegations the hospital was with-out water for five days, Dr Shaker said it was only for one day (Wednesday) and that the situation returned to normal.
After the telephonic conversation with Dr Shaker, patients said there was still no water. Taps and toilets were dry and the situation was highly unhygienic. Pictures were taken (after the call to Dr Shaker) showing toilets in extremely unhygienic conditions.
The woman also alleges staff had to use water hoses connected to the fire hydrants to clean the toilets.
With nearly an hour after the phone call to Dr Shaker there was still no water. It was then discovered after the pipe was repaired, someone forgot to open the main water supply tap. Once that was done, a second pipe rupture caused another water disruption. “New born babies can’t be bathed, the toilets can’t be flushed and the hospital cannot be cleaned. Water spray bottles are being used for sanitation”, the distressed woman told the namib times.
∙At 14:30 yesterday a patient reported that the taps were still dry and the toilets were not functioning.

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