UPGRADE SOUGHT: The City of Windhoek is in discussions to upgrade the Gammams Water Treatment Plant. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
UPGRADE SOUGHT: The City of Windhoek is in discussions to upgrade the Gammams Water Treatment Plant. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Funding sought for Kupferberg, Gammams

Ogone Tlhage
The City of Windhoek is in the process of sourcing funding for the upgrade of the Kupferberg landfill site and the Gammams water treatment plant (WTP), its acting CEO O’Brien Hekandjo said.

This follows damning revelations by City councillor Jürgen Hecht who said the landfill needed to be replaced within two years when it reaches its productive lifespan, while the WTP had to be upgraded within the next four years. Hecht said no strategic fundraising had been done to replace the City’s ageing infrastructure, which he added would require funding worth approximately N$1.5 billion.

Hekandjo dismissed the notion, saying council had - in fact - initiated discussions to secure funding for the projects.

“Council has had engagements with the Environmental Investment Fund for the funding of Kupferberg and the responsible department is currently doing a submission on a funding proposal,” he said.

Kupferberg has two cells, one for hazardous waste with a remaining lifespan of two years, while the general waste cell has a remaining a lifespan of two-and-a-half years, he added.

Regarding the new Gammams WTP, discussions were ongoing with the KfW Development Bank to source funding. “Council - led by the responsible department - is in advanced negotiations with the ministry of finance and KfW,” Hekandjo said.

No financing available

Hecht last week laid the status of the City’s finances bare, stating that it had made no provisions to replace the landfill or upgrade the WTP.

“No strategic financing is available for these two major capital projects amounting to approximately N$1.5 billion. The Kupferberg landfill site will reach the end of its lifespan in two years’ time; costs for a new and proper substitute are currently estimated at N$230 million,” he said.

“The Gammams WTP, which pretreats and filters direct domestic sewerage water, must be upgraded. Thus, a new and higher capacity WTP needs to be built within the next four years at an estimated cost of N$1.2 billion,” he added.

Hecht also expressed worry at the water losses the City was experiencing because of its aged infrastructure.

City not billing residents correctly

According to the councillor, the City was not billing residents fully for water it sold.

“We are extremely concerned about the future water supply for the City of Windhoek, as it has an unaccounted water loss of approximately 25% to 30% due to our currently existing water pipe infrastructure.

“If this is correct, then for every 100 cubic metres of water bought from NamWater, the City only manages to bill 75 cubic metres,” Hecht said.

The City would need to invest approximately N$100 million over the next five years to address the situation, he added.

“This is due to ageing and brittle water pipes, so-called reticulation losses as well as staff and metering problems. No maintenance has been done whatsoever over the past few years.”

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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