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No funds from Govt to alleviate water crisis

Fri, 15 April 2016 16:59
by Donald Matthys
News Flash

The City of Windhoek (CoW) this week said government has not availed any funds to avert the looming water crisis in Windhoek, leaving the CoW to spend N$150 million on emergency projects aimed at alleviating the shortage in supply from NamWater, CoW’s Communications Manager at the CoW, Joshua Amukugo told The Villager.
Earlier this year, The Villager reported that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MWAF) will spend N$32.5m to set up solar/diesel/thermal/hand pumped boreholes and water points in all regions, excluding the Khomas region.
The CoW will use the N$150 million to mainly focus on further developing the aquifer as the most immediate available source, albeit a limited source of water.
For this financial year, the CoW has set aside N$90 million for the drilling of 12 more boreholes, and more are expected to be drilled in the next financial year will start on 1 July 2016, as well as upgrading of the Gammams Water Works Projects is also envisaged, Amukugo said.
“Water supply falls under the mandate of the Central Government. As far as the CoW is aware the GRN allocated zero funds to addressing this very pressing need. The entire Central Areas of Namibia which are supplied by the same state-owned scheme operated by NamWater is under threat,” Amukugo noted.
This week’s statistics from the three main dams supplying Windhoek with water shows that the present Full Capacity stands at 13.2%, which is a decrease from one week ago when it was 13.5%. The Omatako Dam, shows the present Full Capacity at 4.8%, a decrease from 5.6% one week ago, Swakopport Dam stands at 11.8%, a decrease from 12.2% one week ago, while Von Bach is steadied at 22.4% for the last two weeks. The current overall Full capacity stands at 58.6%, and increase from 55.2% one week ago.
The CoW in December last year announced that the Windhoek is currently in the most critical stage (stage 4) aptly named Water Crisis.
“The Cow, being the main demand centre in the area draws from the scheme has a 4 stage approach to drought management. Apart from efforts aimed at establishing and increasing emergency supply sources the CoW is also engaging in several projects to control and reduce the demand,” Amukugo said.
The initiatives include the closure of all irrigation points where fresh water is still consumed, increasing availability of Semi-purified, negotiating and monitoring supply quotas with schools, negotiating and monitoring special supply agreements with water intensive industry, negotiating and monitoring supply quotas with institutional users and a zero tolerance approach on residential consumers who disobey on water restrictions.
The Villager also reported earlier that during the 2015/2016 financial year, 134 new boreholes were drilled countrywide in 13 regions, with the exclusion of the Khomas region. Last year, a report by the City of Windhoek said borehole water is expected to run dry in 2018. The report claimed that boreholes can only supply 15% of the needed capacity, if not running dry.
The 10% water supply from the Karstfelt Channel will only give 5% to Windhoek, with the rest to other towns. The Gammams Reclamation Plant may produce 10%. The total supply to Windhoek is estimated at 30%. Currently, boreholes provide 5% of Windhoek’s water supply under normal conditions, with 75% coming from NamWater through mainly dam content and 20% from reclaimed content. During water-stress conditions, boreholes provide the same 5%, while NamWater provides 65% through dam content (49% through 2014 dams) and reclaimed water remains the same at 20%. The contribution of boreholes rises to 15% during drought conditions.