Simonis Storm says poor planning to blame for water shortages

01 Jun 2016 09:20am
WINDHOEK, 01 JUN (NAMPA) – Poor planning of water infrastructure over the past 20 years and the lack of embracing the concept of sustainable development in budgets are some of the reasons for the current water shortages.
This is the view of local financial services firm, Simonis Storm Securities in an analysis on Namibia’s water crisis and whether the concept of sustainable development is adequately embraced which was issued on Tuesday.
In the report, the firm discussed the demand and supply dynamics of water in the central areas of Namibia (CAN) with a particular focus on Windhoek. The firm reiterated the importance of “prioritising the sustainable provision of public goods in Government policy to ensure that future generations do not endure the burden of a resource curse that could stem from poor implementation of national development projects today.”
It said the scarcity of water in CAN is a well-known and long standing issue since 1995. In 1995 and 1996, a critical poor run-off was experienced and led to a steady depletion of surface water and over-pumping of ground water. Had the situation persisted, a crisis was anticipated in 1997. It was on the basis of that assumption that the then Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development instituted emergency measures to avert the crisis. Part of the measures taken was to initiate a feasibility study to explore the establishment of a pipeline from the Okavango River to the CAN.
The main conclusion in the report made note of how climate change has changed the rainfall pattern.
Furthermore, the firm made reference to earlier assessments done of recent policy developments, which confirmed that the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) has responded fairly to most aspirations enshrined in Vision 2030, such as fostering food security through green scheme projects and value addition initiatives.
The company also made several suggestions of measures that can be implemented to help save water such as the imposing an additional 10 per cent on water restrictions; water rationing; and suspension of wet industries, such as car wash and construction activities within the city boundaries.