Government takes over Akutsima and Amarika desalination plants

04 Nov 2013 13:40pm
AKUTSIMA, 04 NOV (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) took over the desalination plants of the Akutsima and Amarika villages in the Omusati Region over the weekend.
The handing-over of the systems took place at Akutsima village in the Okahao Constituency on Saturday.
MAWF Permanent Secretary Joseph Iita was present on Saturday to officially accept the two desalination plants on behalf of the ministry.
Iita pointed out that the two plants were established through a German-funded non-governmental organisation called CuveWaters.
He said the facilities need security and have to be protected, and these functions were also taken over by the ministry on Saturday.
As the plants are also considered to not be big enough, the ministry intends to expand both in order for it to cater adequately for the need of the greater population in the area.
Iita also criticised the idea of creating infrastructure and soon after handing it over to communities, which then sees the facilities deteriorating and becoming white elephants.
“I keep on saying that here in Namibia, we don’t like white elephants,” he said, adding that capacity must be built and local caretakers must be trained to enable them to maintain the facilities.
Once the facilities are expanded, Iita said, their services will be used to create community gardens, thereby creating employment for local people, generating income and ensuring food security.
He went on to say that through the Namibian Government, the two plants will be the property of the local communities and the MAWF’s Directorate of Rural Water Supply will be heavily involved in assisting the communities in the maintenance of the facilities.
Iita at the same time suggested that the technology used in creating the Akutsima and Amarika plants be used to establish similar facilities elsewhere in the country.
Addressing the same function, the head of the CuveWaters project Dr Thomas Kluge noted that the two desalination plants project were requested by the Namibian Government.
Kluge said the project was implemented within the framework of the German-Namibian research project CuveWaters.
“With the help of various different technologies, the desalination plants were tailored to local conditions,” he stated, adding that the plants use solar to produce up to 3.3 cubic metres of water per day.
The villages of Akutsima and Amarika previously depended on contaminated water from hand-dug wells and diarrhoea, especially amongst children, was common at the villages.