Slump in economy delays Neckartal irrigation scheme

03 March 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Due to the economic situation the country has been facing, government cannot proceed with the development of an irrigation scheme at the Neckartal Dam.

In total, 3 970 hectares have so far been identified to be suitable for the development.

However, an additional 1 030 hectares of land must still be confirmed, with the ultimate goal to develop 5 000 hectares around the dam.

This is according to agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein who answered questions about the dam and the irrigation scheme in Parliament.

Schlettwein said the dam is by far the largest in the country, with a total capacity of about 880 million cubic metres of water.

By comparison, the Hardap Dam has a capacity of 330 million cubic metres and is managed at 70%.

The Neckartal Dam has a surface area of 2 500 hectares, with a catchment area of 4.5 million hectares.

“The Neckartal Dam and the Green Scheme Irrigation Project was conceived to be developed in two phases. The first phase being the feasibility study, design and construction of the Neckartal Dam, which was completed last year,” the minister said.



'Not tenable'

Schlettwein said the second phase is the feasibility study, design and construction of the 5 000-hectare irrigation project, of which the feasibility study and design was completed.

“However, due to the economic condition the country has been facing, the government could not proceed.”

The reason for this is that the design of the existing green scheme project entails that government must first identify land, clear the land, fence it off and develop irrigation infrastructure for small- and medium-scale components of the farm, he said.

“It should be noted that such a design will rely on government providing all financial resources required for the development of the medium- and small-scale components. This was not tenable under the current economic conditions.”

According to Schlettwein, the soil suitable for the irrigation project is not in abundance in the area.

The positioning of the project was, therefore, mainly dependent on the location of suitable soil.

He said the ministry then identified three distinct areas with suitable soil for irrigation development around Neckartal.

These are Farm Schlangkopf (1 900 ha), Farm Dagbreek (1700 ha) and Farm Schaapplaats (370 ha)

He said the ministry will continue to identify additional land in the surrounding area to reach the target area of 5000 hectares.

For now, the water reticulation system to the project is not in place, he said. However, water from the main dam to the balancing reservoir is.

“Off take from the balancing dam to the irrigation plots will only be developed during the second phase of the project which is the construction of the irrigation scheme.”



Positive impact

Schlettwein further elaborated on the positive impact the construction of the dam has had.

During the project's peak in March 2018, the project employed approximately 1 486 people, of which 51% were from the //Karas Region, 38% from other regions in the country and 11% were foreign nationals, the minister said.

“Unfortunately, there are no concrete records to provide an overview of the revenue created, but it is known that the contractors and employees based at the construction site procured their basic necessities, construction materials and other equipment locally from businesses in Keetmanshoop.”

He added that foreign nationals and other staff not from the area rented various accommodation facilities, including houses in Keetmanshoop.

Similar News

 

Villagers retaliate by eating locusts

1 day - 15 April 2021 | Agriculture

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIThe arrival of massive swarms of locusts in northern Namibia, especially in the Kavango West and East, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, has been a...

LPO concerned about Meatco retrenchments

2 days ago - 14 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) of Namibia says while it supports Meatco’s realignment, it will urgently seek a meeting...

//Karas locust plague a crisis

2 days ago - 14 April 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) has warned that the ongoing locust...

More than 26 000 acquire skills and training

2 days ago - 14 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Agri Advisory Services Division’s (AASD) training interventions have benefitted 26 005 people since their inception in...

Index-based insurance could cushion farming troubles

1 week ago - 09 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKAgriculture index-based insurance aims to cushion losses experienced from natural disasters such...

Agri production drops to 2016 levels

1 week ago - 09 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKAgriculture production in Namibia dropped by more than N$1.1 billion last year, closely matching 2016 production levels.Data compiled by the...

Former public servant pursues full-time farming

1 week ago - 07 April 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK Hendrik Motinga quit his job as a labour inspector 10...

Poultry industry survives despite challenging 2020

1 week ago - 07 April 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKThe Covid-19 restrictions introduced last year caused egg purchases to fall; however, the sale of chicken performed well due...

Prospecting on farms worries NAU

1 week ago - 07 April 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKThe Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) says there has been a...

1 389 cattle already imported from Botswana

1 week ago - 07 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKNamibia has already imported 1 389 cattle - from a preliminary application of 1 904 - from Botswana for...

Latest News

Trans-Zambezi railway extension studied

6 hours ago | Economics

Government has commenced with a feasibility study to help determine the viability of developing and extending the Trans-Zambezi railway to link Namibia with other member...

‘I won’t humiliate ministers’

6 hours ago | Government

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob yesterday said he will not humiliate ministers accused of corruption by firing them, as questions mount against his administration’s preference to...

DJ Omzala falls on hard...

6 hours ago | People

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATI Former radio personality DJ Omzala, who graced the NBC airwaves in the 1990s, is a broken man.Off the airwaves, divorced and having had...

High-level panel members land plum...

6 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKSeveral of the individuals who served on the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPNE) have been landed cushy government jobs since playing advisor...

Jobless Kenyans tackle illegal logging

6 hours ago | Economics

Kagondu Njagi - Standing under a thick green canopy in coastal Kenya's Shim Hills, Mohamed Mwaramuno squints at his fellow forest ranger's smartphone.With about a...

Another uninspiring SONA

6 hours ago | Opinion

President Hage Geingob’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday was as empty as the state coffers. Off the script, he offered better soundbites to...

Rehoboth Basters fight over Kaptein

6 hours ago | Cultural

JEMIMA BEUKESREHOBOTHA group of disgruntled Rehoboth Baster Community members yesterday protested the "irregular" election process of the Rehoboth Baster Kaptein slated for 24 April.The group,...

SSA to see world's slowest...

6 hours ago | Economics

JOHANNESBURG - Sub-Saharan Africa is set to record the slowest economic growth of any world region this year as the continent struggles to bounce back...

Plots handed over to residents

6 hours ago | Economics

OTJIWARONGO – Eighty residents of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa region on Wednesday received plots where they are expected to build houses through the Build Together...

Load More