25% of agri budget for water

The agriculture ministry will allocate a quarter of its budget to water infrastructure and potable water provision.

07 May 2019 | Ministries

A quarter of the agriculture ministry's N$1.95 billion budget for the current financial year is devoted to developing the water sector and the supply of water to communities in communal areas.

Minister of agriculture Alpheus !Naruseb said in his budget motivation this amounts to N$494.8 million (25%).

Of this amount, N$242 million is earmarked for the construction of water supply security infrastructure which includes the pilot plant for the waste water reclamation plant at Gammams in Windhoek by the City of Windhoek and the expansion of the Oshakati and Rundu water purification plants by NamWater.

“This leaves an amount of N$252.8 million for other water-related development activities in rural areas,” said !Naruseb.

Other activities under the water programme of the ministry will, amongst others, include the construction of the Ondangwa- Omuntele pipeline extension and the construction of the King Lauluma-Omutsegwonime Water Supply Scheme in the Oshikoto Region, as well as the construction of the water supply scheme for the displaced communities of the Kavango East Region (Shamvhura to Shamangorwa pipeline).

!Naruseb further said that the Neckartal Dam will also be completed this year, with the expected date for the commissioning of the dam being in August as per the tentative work programme of the project.

The completion date for monitoring and reporting on the project is expected to be in October this year.

“With regards to sanitation coordination, the ministry is continuing with the construction of the remaining 200 improved latrines in the Erongo, Kunene and Omusati regions,” said !Naruseb.

He said the ministry through the Technical Committee of Experts for the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security will undertake activities such as the upgrading of the Gammams direct potable reclamation, the Kombat-Berg Aukas power supply and the refurbishment of the Von Bach pump stations to enhance water supply to the central areas of Namibia.

It will also undertake the refurbishment of the Kuiseb collector 2 and the replacement of the Schwarzekuppe-Swakopmund and the Omdel-Wlotzkasbaken pipelines to improve supply at the central coastal areas.

According to !Naruseb N$427.7 million (21.8%) of the budget is earmarked for the development of the agriculture sector.

Of this amount N$98.9 million is allocated to the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (Namsip).

A further N$293.8 million is allocated to the implementation of agricultural activities such as the green scheme programme. It also includes the development of Neckartal Dam phase 2 irrigation project, the processing and marketing of horticultural produce, as well as the implementation of climate mitigation measures through the conservation programme.

An amount of N$35 million is allocated for the completion of the on-going construction of veterinary clinics and staff accommodation infrastructure countrywide, while N$22.5 million will be allocated towards the development of the forestry sector and N$66 million to supervision and support services.

!Naruseb pointed out that the allocations to the agriculture sector have been continuously declining having dropped from an average of 4.6% over the past 11 years to 2.9% of the total national budget. He said this is despite the significance of agriculture, water and forestry to the nation's livelihood.

He said that agriculture remains a strategic sector as it continues to support about 70% of the Namibian population and employs about 167 242 people, which represents 15.3% of the total workforce in the country.

ELLANIE SMIT

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