Nujoma calls on Government to prioritise desalination

11 May 2019 13:10pm
HENTIES BAY, 11 MAY (NAMPA) - Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma, has called on the Government to consider making large scale desalination a priority.
Nujoma, who was speaking during the commissioning of a desalination pilot plant at the University of Namibia’s (UNAM) Sam Nujoma Campus in Henties Bay on Friday, said there is a need to implement such projects in Namibia as a solution to food security and because Namibia’s water supply is steadily declining.
“About 80 per cent of Namibia relies on groundwater as a major water source, but due to climate change, our country could experience prolonged years of drought in the future that could deplete all our groundwater and surface water resources,” Nujoma said.
He added that the project should also be a source of water for irrigation and animal consumption.
“The line ministry should embrace the concept of desert agriculture and use desalinated water to convert our desert into large-scale green schemes for crop production or animal husbandry,” he said.
The desalination project is a collaboration between UNAM and the University of Turku in Finland, which was also the primary benefactor of the over N.dollars 3 billion project.
UNAM will use the plant to turn brackish and saline water into water suitable for human consumption, as well as for crops.
UNAM Vice Chancellor, Kenneth Matengu, noted that the campus has already selected a two hectare piece of land for a garden where water from the project will be used.
“The portable project was assembled in Finland and then shipped to Namibia. It will be the first in the world to fully operate on solar energy,” Matengu said.
On his part Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Alpheus !Naruseb stressed the effects of the availability of fresh water and how Namibia is compelled to look for alternatives to cater for this water shortage, saying desalination is the only way the problem can be solved.
Finland’s Ambassador to Namibia, Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä praised the pilot project, saying it follows years of hard work and systematic collaboration between different entities.
“It is an example of a successful public-private partnership and cooperation, which is what we need to be able to tackle major challenges such as climate change, among others,” she said.