President visits developing Neckartal Dam

09 Oct 2015 16:30pm
NECKARTAL DAM, 09 OCT (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob on Thursday made a quick stop to the developing Neckartal Dam after his meeting in Keetmanshoop with people of the //Karas Region.
Sitting under a gazebo on an outlook post high above the Fish River, Geingob listened attentively as consulting engineer Eric Britton of Knight Piésold excitedly gave details on progress of the dam.
“Once completed, the dam will be indescribably beautiful,” Britton said.
He told the president the dam will take another two years to complete and briefly described what has been done up to this point and what still lies ahead in finishing the anticipated reservoir.
He said excavation is complete and the next step is to cover the foundation with concrete to prevent flooding in the future.
Should the rain come and the river flow; Britton said preventative measures to contain the water and preserve current developments were in place.
He said abstraction works were built further up the river to divert the flow of water through a pump to a holding dam towards the east.
“The finished dam will weigh 3 million tonnes and it will be as high as a 22-storey building with a crest length of 500 metres,” Britton said, himself amazed.
The president slowly nodded while Britton further explained:
“The reservoir will have a holding capacity of 880 million cubic metres, equivalent to 300 000 Olympic sized swimming pools.”
He said in light of the annual average run-off of 500 million cubic metres, it is estimated that it will take about two years to fill the dam.
Neckartal Dam is an ambitious enterprise identified by the German colonisers more than 100 years ago to capture water for the drought-prone south.
Britton said the South African government since just kept the proposal in the drawer until the Namibian government decided to put the massive project on the table.
The engineer said he was thrilled by this move, as the dam will be able to provide irrigation for a very strong agricultural enterprise of more than 5 000 hectares in size.
“There will be valves that release water from the reservoir; the water will go 13 km to a weir where it will fill up another reservoir with a capacity of three months’ supply. It will then get pumped to a holding dam after which it will reach the irrigation system,” Britton said as he explained the technicalities.
“Excellent, we’ll wait for that day,” Geingob said.
“The water in the dam will be blue and not sluggish green like in the Fish River – it will be spectacular,” Britton said.
“Wow!” the president responded.
The agricultural project is outside the scope of work Salini Impregilo is contracted for. It is expected to create at least 400 – 500 direct jobs.
Knight Piésold is the consulting engineering company that oversees the work done by Salini.