Desalination proposals on hold

12 March 2020 | Infrastructure

Proposals by water project proponents on the establishment of a desalination plant will only be dealt with after government has taken the relevant findings and recommendations into account from a study still to be completed.

This is according to agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb, who is also the chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security (CCWSS). He said the ministry and committee have received several propositions from institutions aimed at addressing the country's water scarcity problems. He however urged that they should wait for the completion of the study.

“The committee and the ministry highly appreciate these proposals and those who are interested in contributing to the water supply security in Namibia in any form, be it a desalination plant or other water technology.” !Naruseb however said in order for government to ensure the realisation of its economic, environmental and social development objectives as in the national development plans, there is an urgent need to ensure sustainable water supply for domestic, agriculture and industrial use.

He said government, through cooperation with Germany, appointed consultants to look into the best possible way to develop the desalination of seawater as an additional source of water supply to the coastal area and as an alternative long-term source for the central area.

According to !Naruseb, the consultant commenced with work at the beginning of last year and is expected to complete the study around June. The findings and recommendations will form the basis of any project implementation. He said proposals on the establishment of a desalination plant will therefore only be dealt with upon completion of the study and when the government has taken a position on the recommendations and findings of the consultant. He also stressed that the awarding of contracts will be carried out in line with the Public Procurement Act of 2015.

ELLANIE SMIT

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