N$90m to rehabilitate Omahenene-Olushandja canal

The entire canal must be cleaned to improve water supply to the main treatment plants in the North.

16 February 2021 | Infrastructure

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

OMAHENENE

NamWater on Saturday started a six-month rehabilitation of the Omahenene-Olushandja canal.

The entire canal needs to be cleaned to improve water supply to the main treatment plants at Olushandja, Outapi, Ogongo and Oshakati.

The rehabilitation tender was awarded to Radial Truss Industries in a joint venture with Imperative Construction and Engineering, and Section B was awarded to Brumar Construction.

The sections, measuring 5.8 km, will be reconstructed at a combined cost of N$93.5 million.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein said the section of the canal which is being rehabilitated was first built in 1972 – almost 50 years ago.

NamWater has been maintaining it to ensure that water flows to its customers without disruption, however, the minister said maintenance costs have become unsustainable, hence the need for rehabilitation.

Vandalism

The canal has a design capacity starting at 10 cubic metres per second for the first section and 1.3 cubic metres per second at Oshakati. It was not only built to supply potable water, but is also meant to cater for agricultural production at one of the government’s largest green scheme projects – the Etunda Irrigation Scheme.

“Some members of the communities along the canal have sadly been vandalising the canal deliberately, either to make it easy to catch fish or to enable water to flow into nearby ponds for livestock to drink with ease. Such practice needs to stop. I urge NamWater to work with law enforcement agencies so that such culprits can be brought to book,” Schlettwein said.

Omusati governor Erginus Endjala shared the minister’s sentiments, adding that while government encourages food production and is given hope by the uptake of farming in the region, pumping water from the canal needs to be regulated and controlled so that they maintain equitable water supply services to all users.

He urged residents of the region to stop vandalising the canal.

- [email protected]

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