Namwater Needs N$8 Billion to Fulfill Mandate

Namibia’s water utility NamWater needs N$8 billion to fulfill its mandate to provide potable water to all Namibians.

NamWater also plans to build a desalination plant within the next five to eight years for which it will need funds either from internal or external sources.

This was disclosed by NamWater Chief Executive Officer, Dr Vaino Shivute, at a stakeholder consultative meeting held in Keetmanshoop late on Tuesday.

However, Shivute blasted local authorities that constantly fail to meet their obligations to pay their accounts on time, saying this failure to pay bills causes problems for the bulk water supplier, which now has a new mandate to carry out until 2018.

Shivute said NamWater “is repositioning itself to develop desalination capability and ensure affordability of water”.

He said it is imperative to invest in water infrastructure in line with the mandate to provide water to all corners of the country. Presently 80 percent of the country’s inhabitants have ready access to potable water, but the aim is to provide this very important resource countrywide.

The NamWater CEO said positive factors such as the prevailing peace, political stability, political succession, rule of law and the anti-corruption drive create a conducive environment for the utility to play its role and carry out its mandate effectively.

However, he said there were also volatile situations like unfair competition by other companies such as the Areva mining company, which owns a desalination plant in Namibia. That competition might pose a threat to water security in the country, he added.

Shivute said NamWater aims to own a desalination plant as NamWater is currently buying water from Areva to provide to its customers in the coastal regions, such as mines.

The meeting was attended by NamWater’s stakeholders, including traditional leaders, village councillors and regional councillors.

Source : New Era