Rising illegal off takes along the Calueque-Oshakati water canal has become a major concern to NamWater, resulting in the Namibian water utility company now struggling to get sufficient water to its main treatment plant at Oshakati.Minister of Agricult…
Rising illegal off takes along the Calueque-Oshakati water canal has become a major concern to NamWater, resulting in the Namibian water utility company now struggling to get sufficient water to its main treatment plant at Oshakati.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein made these remarks during the ground breaking ceremony for the rehabilitation of the said canal at Omahenene in the Omusati Region on Saturday.
Schlettwein said the bulk of water NamWater pumps from the Angola-based Calueque Dam is occasionally used up by the local farmers before it reaches the furthermost treatment plant (Oshakati plant).
“NamWater spends millions of dollars for electricity to pump water into the canal from Calueque Dam, but loses a lot of water to evaporation and lately increasingly so to illegal off takes by farmers who have set up irrigation gardens along the canal,” narrated the Minister.
He also noted that it is more concerning that NamWater, through government funding, is in the process of doubling up the capacity of the Oshakati plant and will spend possibly close to N.dollars 500 million on that project.
Schlettwein believes the new plant may not be in a position to receive sufficient water to treat if more water continues being lost from the canal before it reaches Oshakati.
Speaking at the same event, Omusati regional governor, Erginus Endjala, indicated that the rehabilitation of the canal has been long overdue as it was inaugurated for the first time back in 1972.
According to Endjala, the canal plays a vital role to the livelihoods Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto residents by providing water for both people, livestock and green schemes.
“This canal needs to be taken care of as it is our lifeline and should not be vandalising,” Endjala urged the communities along the canal.
Total reconstruction of the canal becomes necessary after become dilapidated and its maintenance costs became unsustainable.
Rehabilitation of the 5.8 kilometer Omahene-Olushandja canal will commence soon at the cost of N.dollars 93.5 million.
It is to be done in two sections, with section A to be constructed by Radial Truss Industries in a joint venture with Imperative Construction and Engineering, while section B will be carried out by Brumar Construction.