Neckartal to be commissioned in March

30 January 2020 | Infrastructure

The Neckartal Dam in southern Namibia is expected to be commissioned in March, says the executive director in the ministry of agriculture, Percy Misika.

The main contractor, Salini, was just putting the finishing touches to the N$5.6 billion dam, he said.

“The contractor has handed over the civil works to NamWater. Dry testing of dam equipment has been done. Wet testing of the dam's electrical components will now have to be carried out before the commissioning,” he said. Misika said the dam had an adequate water level late last year. “On my last visit to the dam the estimated water level was about 14 metres. We travelled nine kilometres by boat. What the water level is right now I will have to confirm since there has been a drought and evaporation,” Misika said.





Construction of the dam, which was plagued by cash-flow problems, was completed in October 2018.



The dam is anticipated to hold 880 million cubic metres of water once full.



Neckartal is not yet listed in NamWater's weekly dam level reports.



NamWater spokesperson Johannes Shigwedha would not be drawn into commenting on the status of Neckartal, saying it was still a government project.



Regarding the planned development of the Neckartal irrigation scheme, Misika said the government had not yet decided whether it would operate the scheme on its own through Agribusdev, or whether it would rent it out.



The government was eyeing the development of two irrigation schemes in the //Karas and the Zambezi regions, Misika said.



At the start of the Neckartal project in 2018, Agribusdev manager for engineering Ignatius Endyala said a public-private-partnership agreement was being sought for the scheme.



But Misika indicated that the government had gone back to the drawing board regarding its plans for the scheme.



“A decision has not yet been taken regarding the modalities of whether it will be run by Agribusdev or whether it will be run privately. In addition, because of our budgetary constraints, a decision has not yet been taken. The funds we have will not be enough to develop these irrigation schemes,” he said.

About 1 900 hectares of land is available at Neckartal for an irrigation scheme where grapes, dates, lucerne, vegetables and maize can be grown.

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