Pohamba happy with progress at Neckartal

BERSEBA: President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Friday expressed satisfaction with the progress on work currently underway on the construction of the Neckartal Dam in the //Karas Region.

The construction of the dam near Keetmanshoop is estimated to cost the Namibian Government a total amount of N.dollars 2,4 billion.

The Head of State took a tour of the construction site along with a number of Cabinet Ministers on Friday afternoon.

“… This project is of great importance to the development and growth of our nation, as well as for the improvement of living conditions of people residing in the south of the country. For these reasons, we want the dam being built here completed within a reasonable period of time,” said Pohamba.

He stated that although his Government was badly disturbed by the legal challenge with regards to the awarding of the tender for the construction of the dam to Italian construction company, Salini Impregilo S.p.A , they are now happy that the work being done at the dam site is progressing well.

The High Court ruled in April last year that the tender be sent back to be re-evaluated by the Tender Board.

Salini had initially been awarded the N.dollars 2, 8 billion tender for the dam project in March last year, but the decision was challenged in court by CSC Joint Venture, and was subsequently declared null and void. In August last year, the tender was re-awarded to Salini.

The President also appealed to the management of the company to prioritise the safety of the people engaged in the realisation of the dam.

“The Namibian Government will offer the necessary support to assist Salini in the construction of the dam,” said Pohamba.

Also speaking at the event, Salini site engineer Eric Britton assured the Namibian Head of State that his company is committed to the successful completion of the dam.

Construction work on the road to the dam is completed, while some electricity transformers have also been erected.

The road to the dam site stretches for about 60 kilometres from the main Keetmanshoop-Lüderitz road.

After the completion of the roads and transformers, an irrigation system will be put in place before the physical construction of the dam starts.

The construction of the dam will take at least four to five years to complete.

The dam is said to have a catchment area of 45 365 square kilometres and is located in the Fish River area, 40 kilometres west of Keetmanshoop in the Berseba district.

The main focus for the construction of the dam is to allow irrigation farming.

The Neckartal Dam is expected to be three times the size of the Hardap Dam, located near Mariental in the Hardap Region.