By Confidente Reporter
IN a bid to avert a disastrous water crisis that threatens to wreak havoc Namibia and Botswana will jointly construct a multi-billion dollar water pipeline that will draw water from the Atlantic Ocean and shared by the two neighbouring countries, Confidente can reveal.
However, Confidente at the time of going to print could not establish whether the two governments would purchase the Areva desalination plant or construct their own because none in the two governments was willing to divulge details on the bilateral agreement.
Confidente understands that high level talks are taking place currently between the two governments and plans are underway to commission the multi-billion dollar project soon.
President Hage Geingob, Monday revealed during a function held at State House that the two governments are in discussions to pump water from the Atlantic Ocean through a pipeline that will stretch to Botswana.
“There is a regional project that will be commissioned between the Namibian Government and Botswana to tap water from the sea but we are not going to discuss that at this juncture because it’s a government to government project,” Geingob said.
The revelations by Geingob might hint that government is considering shelving plans to pump water from the Kavango River to Windhoek.
According to a document shown to Confidente if the Namibian Government was to construct its own desalination plant it would cost about N$3.6 billion currently while the costs of pumping the water from the coast to Windhoek through Usakos, Karibib and Okahandja to the Von Bach Dam in Windhoek would amount to about N$2.75 billion.
The project would require at least three years to complete.
“In principle, several such development corridors can be created across Namibia. Of great strategic importance will be the Coast-to-Capital Corridor: it would unlock the unlimited supplies of the Atlantic Ocean as a source of potable water, using seawater desalination powered in part by solar and other renewable energy sources. Once available, this water could be piped via Usakos, Karibib and Okahandja to the Von Bach Dam and thus complement Windhoek’s other water supplies.”
The report adds that although drawing water from the Atlantic Ocean is costly it is however a necessary investment.
“In early 2016, a modern desalination plant producing some 25 million cubic metres of water per year would cost about N$3.6 billion. If commissioned in 2016, such a plant would commence production. It could be financed through Namibian dollar denominated loan facilities, including local insurance companies, pension funds and development banks. At an interest rate of 8.5 percent per year over 20 years, water would cost some N$36 per cubic metre in 2019 and rise to between N$50 per cubic metre and N$62 per cubic metre in 2030.”
The water situation in Windhoek is so dire that last month the City of Windhoek disclosed that as last and desperate measures to mitigate the situation it might end up banning construction work in the city and this would affect at least 40 000 who might lose their jobs.
The country’s eastern neighbour, Botswana’s capital city Gaborone is equally struggling with a water crisis.
Gaborone’s major source of water the Gaborone Dam has also run dry.
Most of the city’s water has to be piped in from Zambezi and Okavango river basins. Gaborone receives more than half of its urban water supply through the North- South Carrier, a 360 km pipeline.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015