The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) recently launched the rehabilitation of the 150km long Calueque-Oshakati canal. The project will be implemented in several phases. Phase one which will cover 5.8km will be implemented by three Namibian contractors, namely Radial Truss Industries, Imperative Construction Engineering and Brumar Construction at cost of about US $6.4m. The three companies recently signed a partnership agreement with the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater), the public company responsible for water management.
According to Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Agrarian Reform, Calle Schlettwein this particular stretch will be rebuilt so that it can be able to continue supplying water for plants and factories. “NamWater spends millions of dollars every year to maintain the canal but water leaks continue due to evaporation. Some community members along the canal have deliberately vandalised the facility for aquaculture and livestock farming. In addition, farmers have planted gardens along the dam. As a result, NamWater no longer receives enough water to supply its factories, including the Oshakati drinking water plant,” said the minister.
Improving water access in Namibia
This 150km long Calueque-Oshakati canal runs from Angola (Omahenene) to the Oshakati region in Namibia. Water that flows in the Calueque-Oshakati canal comes from the Calueque dam, located on the Cunene River in southern Angola. The dam, which has a storage capacity of 200,000m3, supplies the south of Angola, as well as four NamWater drinking water plants located in Olushandja, Outapi, Ogongo and Oshakati in Namibia. The resource is then distributed to the populations who use it as drinking water or for irrigation.
The minister further added that, once the project is completed, NamWater will regulate the pumping of water from the canal for a fair service. “We must also engage farmers to agree on a formula for equitable water supply based on cost recovery principles,” he said.