The government of Namibia through Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) has commissioned a reservoir as well as a groundwater defluorination plant in a bid to address the water supply and sanitation challenges that is affecting the country.

The US $2m water supply project will be located in in Eenhana, in the Ohangwena region of Namibia. Namibia’s Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein who commissied the project said that the government has already received a grant of US $380,600 from Germany via the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR).

The minister explained that the 5000m3 reservoir will store water pumped from the water table, defluorinated in the new plant and the boreholes are 350m deep. He pointed out that it has been established that excess fluoride causes, among other things, conditions ranging from benign dental fluorosis to disabling bone fluorosis.

“After the work was completed, we found that the level of fluoride in the water, between 3.0 and 4.0 mg per litre, was too high to be acceptable,” said Schlettwein.

Improve drinking water supply

NamWater has also provided Eenhana with brine drainage basins and new pumps to improve the population’s drinking water supply. Prior to this project, NamWater supplied a 750m3 reservoir in Eenhana from the Oshakati drinking water plant in the Oshana region. The quantity of water was insufficient to meet households demand. The Oshakati plant treats water from the Calueque dam on the Cunene River in Angola. The level of the reservoir has fallen sharply in recent years due to the Drought.

In addition the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is also implementing Namibia Water Sector Support Program (NWSSP). The project is supported by African Development Bank (AfDB).

The aim of the program is to increase access, quality, security and sustainability of water supply and sanitation services in Namibia. The program implementation is split into two phases; phase 1 that will be implemented in the next 5 years and phase 2 after completion of phase 1.

Phase1 is addressing short term, immediate water solutions whilst phase 2 will focus on long term solutions to the water sector. Twenty-five sub-projects are proposed under NWSSP and AfDB will support the programs.

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