N$130 Million Water Project for Otjimbingwe

The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, launched a N$130 million rural water supply project at Otjimbingwe in the Erongo Region last week.

The project will see Otjimbingwe residents and nearby settlements receive clean and safe water within the next 18 months.

The project is expected to supply water to Otjimbingwe from the Swakoppoort Dam via the Karibib water treatment plant.

However in order to accommodate future water needs the project is designed to have the capacity to supply neighbouring resettlement farms such as Tsaobismund, Kunibes, Kurikaub Nord and Kurikaub Sud.

The communities initiated this project after realization of the threat to their underground water sources that cannot meet existing demands. The current groundwater sources will not be able to cope with future demand as a result of infrequent recharge and over-abstraction in the aquifer.

Currently a significant number of rural farming posts are not supplied with water.

The conditions of the boreholes and borehole installations are poor and are some are not operational as well.

Mutorwa said the project will also include an upgrade of the Karibib water treatment plant to treat water from the Swakopoort Dam, the construction of a 500 square metre concrete reservoir both at Corner Shop in Karibib and Otjimbingwe.

The project is a joint undertaking of the ministry and the water utility, NamWater, and will be constructed under the auspices of NamWater by China Jiangxi International and supervised by Windhoek Consulting Engineers.

According to Mutorwa, Namibia will be judged globally next year on how it has achieved the Millennium Development Goals to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.

“I should with pride confirm that access to water in urban and rural areas is 98 percent and 63 percent respectively, while 78 percent of households in urban and 26 percent of households in rural areas have access to sanitation, according to the 2011 census. Although we lag behind in sanitation provision, the government has intensified its funding mechanisms for the past three years with the approval of the Sanitation Strategy in 2011,” Mutorwa explained.

“The equitable improvement of water supply and sanitation services should be achieved by the combined efforts of government and the beneficiaries, based on community involvement and participation, the acceptance of a mutual responsibility and by outsourcing services where necessary and appropriate, under control and supervision of the government,” the minister said.

Source : New Era