EDITORIAL

05 March 2021 | Opinion

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” This powerful observation by Anglo-American poet Wystan Hugh Auden reminds us of exactly why government needs all our support for its plan to construct multibillion-dollar desalination infrastructure and tap water directly for the sea.

Oman in the Middle East relies on desalination because the extreme scarcity of water leaves few other options.

The country has a total of nine large desalination plants, plus 47 small ones, which the government says supply about 86% of the country’s potable water.

Other Arabian Peninsula nations such as Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have poured their massive oil wealth into plants that transform seawater into a steady supply for their growing populations.

Namibia is the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa and, as proven over the years, we cannot continue to rely on erratic rainfall. The long dry spells have devastated our economy – and our people - for way too long and it’s time something decisive is done.

Government’s poor record of investment into water infrastructure could be rectified within the blink of an eye if the planned desalination plant is constructed. And since government coffers are as dry as a novice comedian’s humour, there is nothing wrong with approaching rich investors like Rashid Sardarov to pump in money, as long as everything is above board.

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