Ohangwena aquifer investigations are yet to be completed

07 Jul 2017 16:30pm
EENHANA, 07 JUL (NAMPA) – More work needs to be done before investigations towards the development of an aquifer identified in the east of Ohangwena Region six years ago can yield tangible results.
Speaking at an information sharing meeting on the current status of the Ohangwena aquifer held at Eenhana on Thursday, Agriculture, Water and Forestry Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary, Abraham Nehemia said the aquifer development is now part of the Government’s Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
He noted that water supply development is a long-term investment and not all works of the Ohangwena aquifer are expected to be done in the HPP's five-year period.
The vast Ohangwena main aquifer has two layers which, according to the studies done on it since 2011, have the potential to provide safe potable water to the Ohangwena Region and beyond.
The aquifer is estimated to be 20 billion cubic metres. Its upper deposit is situated 150 metres (m) underground and the second layer is located over 200m deeper.
“We are happy that this aquifer has been identified to supplement our surface water system,” Nehemia said, adding that the investigative works being done are of world standard.
To augment pipeline water supply at Eenhana, the Namibian water utility company, NamWater, has drilled three boreholes at the town the past two years. This followed severe water supply shortages experienced by residents.
The Ohangwena aquifer, once fully developed, will supply water to Eenhana, Epembe, Omundaungilo, Oshikunde and Okongo.
The aquifer is mostly of Angolan origin and also recharges from there.
The project’s technical team from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) told the meeting that the aquifer’s water between Eenhana and Oshikango is salty, while it has safe freshwater from Eenhana towards the south-east of the region.
The aquifer’s development is part of a substantial work on investigating groundwater potential in the northern Cuvelai-Etosha Basin.
The project is being done in cooperation with BGR, the department of Water Affairs and Forestry, NamWater and the University of Namibia.
Its progress is challenged by the acquisition of expensive materials only from outside the country at a cost of N.dollars 2.6 million to drill a borehole to access groundwater that is 350m deep.
The German Ministry of Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Development funds the project which started in 2007 and is set to end in 2018, said Martin Quinger of the BGR technical team in an interview with Nampa at the end of the meeting.