By Donna Collins
THE demolishing of Swakopmund’s indoor public swimming pool at the Mole beachfront two years ago, has created a cavity where change rooms, ablution facilities and outside showers were used by holidaymakers visiting this popular seaside resort.
This lack of essential facilities for the general public and visitors to this popular beach is becoming an increasing problem, especially since the multi-million dollar Strand Hotel was opened, attracting even more people to the Mole than before.
And unless you are a resident of this posh hotel, or are patronising one of the restaurants in the area, there is nowhere to go if you want to change into your costume, use a toilet, or rinse off the beach sand after a day on the beach.
Despite the Swakopmund Municipality making an effort to provide some sort of contingency plan by setting up a half a dozen portable toilets, this arrangement appeared inadequate.
With literally thousands of holidaymakers flocking to the coastal beaches over this past holiday season, and as many as over 400 people packing the Mole beach on Christmas Day, the effectiveness of these few toilets was severely challenged.
People were relieving themselves in the sea, others were spotted changing into their bathing costumes in full view of everyone, and complaints that the portable toilets were filthy and stinking most of the time was not exaggerated.
Casting some light on the current situation the general manager Health Services Swakopmund Municipality, Clive Lawrence, pointed out that all their public facilities were torn down when the public swimming pool was demolished, and they are aware of the problem this then created.
He explained that during this period developers changed hands, a factor which delayed the process of building the new development. But more importantly this has dragged out the construction of new Municipal ablution facilities that are contractually to be included in the new complex development.
Lawrence explained that the Municipality meanwhile purchased 15 portable toilets before the start of the season, which were meant for their municipal staff that work outdoors, but instead were put to good use for the visitors during the holidays.
He said that some of them were also positioned at the Jetty, where many visitors converged, and that the Municipality is aware of the shortcomings, since ablution facilities are a basic necessity.
“To meet the growing demand of public visiting our beaches, it is on our menu to look at establishing a complement of public facilities for the future, not only on the beach front but in and around town as well,” he said.
“We are aware that the temporary ablution facilities at the Mole are inadequate especially during the peak holiday times, but once the new development is up, everything will fall into place.”
Meanwhile Walvis Bay Municipality PRO, Kevin Adams said that they have seen to it that there are ablution facilities at most of the public beaches, including Kuisebmund Beach and Dolphin Park Resort, but it is impossible to provide toilets everywhere.
“We are aware that there is a shortage of established toilets and change room facilities and need to look into it, but this matter needs to be planned properly to avoid these buildings being vandalised and used for the wrong reasons.
“In the meanwhile the Walvis Bay will take care of the public’s needs during the peak season by placing mobile toilets at the busy beach areas.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015