By: Rodney Pienaar
City of Windhoek chief executive officer, Robert Kahimse has said that the rehabilitation of Gammams waste treatment plant and that of the Goreangab water reclamation could cost the city N$32 million.
This comes after an oil spillage incident that occurred at the Namibian dairies plant in Avis this month.
“In an attempt to reduce further pollution of the environment, an oil spill expert from South Africa did an assessment of the total damage and proposed relevant rehabilitation procedures. Based on the assessment a total of N$32 million was quoted for rehabilitation over a time frame of two months to clean the affected reticulation system.”
“An amount of 24 000 and 27 000 cubic meters of raw sewer is produced daily in the city. This volume of sewer is channeled directly into Goreangab dam. Gammams waste water treatment plant is not in operation and hence no water is produced as input to WINGOC for production of portable water,” he said.
Kahimise also said that NamWater is currently producing the shortfall from WINGOC, a contractor appointed by the city for production of portable water.
“WINGOC were informed about the shutdown at Gammams Plant and had to also shut down the water reclamation process on the same day. The shutdown of both plants was crucial as a precaution not to pollute biological processes required to produce potable water,” he said.
“Incoming sewer or influent at Gammams is still spilled into the Goreangab dam although traces of oil have significantly reduced,” he said.
Kahimise warned the general public not to make use of water from Goreangab in any way.
“People residing near or on the banks of the Goreangab dam are cautioned not to use dam water for whatsoever reason. Fish in the maturation ponds at Gammams are dying because of the oil contamination and lack of oxygen.”
“Scientific Services constantly monitors the affluent to track the level of contamination and it is decreasing daily. This means that the treatment process may soon commence once the affluent reaches a specific quality which is fit for treatment,” he said.
The Gammams plant operation will start when the cleanup process is complete and will first be flushed followed by production of semi-purified water for a period until it can handle the influent, which is believed will have reduced pollutants, Kahimise said.