U.S Aquaculture Project Sunk

A CLOUD-BREAK in the Uis river’s catchment area recently, where 50 millimeters of rain fell in 45 minutes, resulted in 1,3 million cubic metres of water flowing into the quarry in which Johan van der Westhuizen’s aquaculture project is, and covered the project.

The project is in one of the main quarries of the old Uis tin mine.

Van der Westhuizen estimates damage at about N$180 000 and is still trying to redeem what he can – that is of the approximately two tons of tilapia fish that escaped from floating cages inside the quarry.

“When the river came down, it brought along large tree stumps which resulted in the floating cages and floating walkways breaking off from their anchorage. Fortunately, they kept afloat but some damage to the cages resulted in the fish escaping,” he said. The quarry’s level increased by about 12 metres, covering all infrastructure within 45 minutes. This included the project supervisor’s little house storage facilites and an ablution block. Several of the floating walkways are also under water.

“We managed to recover a few walkways and the cages and some of the fish. Unfortunately it was production time so we lost a lot of fish ready for the market. It can take up to six months to get that production back,” said Van der Westhuizen.

He said that he was the only one who suffered damages during the flood. The river was diverted in the past to flow into the quarry. If it had not been diverted, the entire town would have been under water. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

Source : The Namibian