Feasibility study into desalination plant complete by 2019: !Naruseb

12 Oct 2018 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 12 OCT (NAMPA) – The feasibility study into the viability of the desalination of seawater for drinking and industrial purposes is expected to be concluded by December 2019, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb said.
He made the revelation in the National Assembly on Thursday, in response to questions by National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) president, Asser Mbai.
Mbai had asked to be furnished with Government’s intervention or plan to address challenges related to animal grazing and water shortages in the construction and agriculture sectors.
To this, !Naruseb indicated that the desalination of seawater remains a key strategy in Namibia’s quest to meet the increased demand for water, especially for mining activities at the coast.
To this effect, the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security is working towards the goal of attaining of the construction of a desalination plant at the Namibian coast.
“A request for a feasibility study for a desalination plant and water carriage system to secure water supply to the central coast, Windhoek and en-route users has been sent out,” !Naruseb said, adding that funding for the study was secured from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
He did not disclose any figures in as far as the funding of the study is concerned, but noted that it is anticipated to conclude in December 2019.
Thereafter, the construction of the desalination plant will commence.
The funding of the plant will be determined by the study, but it could include public-private partnership or a Chinese grant/loan earmarked for water infrastructure development.
The study is looking at the feasibility study of the long-term provision of potable, commercial or administrative and industrial water supply to central coastal towns, the central coastal area and Windhoek.
Communities located next to the planned transmission main between the coast and Windhoek will also benefit from the desalination plant.
“In addition, the study shall investigate the likely option of providing desalinated potable water from the Atlantic Coast, via Windhoek to Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone,” !Naruseb said.
The just-ended second National Land Conference also resolved to fast-track the construction of the desalination plant in a bid to “make the Namib Desert green”.
The recommendation - which was later adopted as a resolution - was brought to the conference by Founding President, Sam Nujoma.
Nujoma wants water from the desalination plant in order to be used to produce food for local consumption and export.