Mutorwa warns of Swakoppoort Dam pollution

18 Sep 2016 12:00pm
SWAKOPMUND , 18 SEP (NAMPA) – Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa has expressed concern about the polluting of the Swakoppoort Dam.
Speaking on Friday when he presented his ministry's report on a water supply assessment in the Erongo Region to the media, he said when he visited the Swakoppoort Dam last week, the water was covered with algae which is a clear sign of pollution.
Swakoppoort Dam is located some 50 kilometres west of Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa Region. It has a capacity of 63 million cubic metres and is one of the three major dams that supply water to Windhoek.
The other two dams are Von Bach and Omatako. With no inflow due to the drought, water levels in the dams have reached worrying proportions.
“It is not in the interest of anyone to see the quality of Swakoppoort Dam’s water turning to the quality of Goreangab Dam’s water. Goreangab is so polluted that such water cannot be treated for drinking anymore,” Mutorwa said.
He encouraged the upper Swakopmund basin committee to increase awareness about the increasing danger of water pollution.
“The dictum, ‘prevention is better than cure’ is perfectly applicable and fitting in this case,” said the minister.
The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) early this year also warned that blue and green algae is an increasing threat to the quality of the water in the Swakoppoort Dam and could lead to the closure of the dam.
With regards to the water supply to the coastal towns, Mutorwa said his ministry and NamWater have been tasked to look into the possibility of providing more water from the Omdel and Kuiseb River aquifers in addition to the existing Areva desalination plant to both towns and neighbouring uranium mines.
He used the opportunity to urge Namibians and visitors to save water during and even after the drought period.
“Even when good rains come and government establishes a permanent water supply, we should not relax and think it is all over. We must continue to use water wisely because water is life, it deserves dignity,” he said.