As the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia faces unique challenges with regard to its water resources. Windhoek as well as the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are under pressure to meet the increasing water supply demands at a time when water resources are becoming ever more unreliable and prolonged exploitation of existing resources is not sustainable.
The German government therefore supports Namibia to explore opportunities for the desalination of seawater as a reliable and sustainable source of drinking water. In cooperation with the German Development Bank (KfW), a feasibility study was commissioned to provide recommendations at long-term solutions for the water supply to the central coast and central area of Namibia, including Windhoek as well as en route users.
On 29 and 30 January 2020, the concept workshop for the desalination feasibility study was held in Windhoek, marking the progress of the study to date and bringing together all stakeholders in order to evaluate the preliminary findings as well as to guide the study to its successful conclusion.
Long-term sustainable water supply
The desalination feasibility study is in the process of carrying out a detailed analysis of the projected water demand in the coastal and central region and will develop a proposal for, among other things, the proposed corresponding desalination option, water transfer system and power infrastructure required. Additionally, the study will provide a comparison of the desalination option for the CAN area with the already by the Namibian government examined possibility of sourcing water from the Okavango.
The outcome of the concept workshop will guide the work for the remainder of the study and will conclude with a final workshop before the study is finalized. The final results of the feasibility study are expected before the end of 2020.
Continued cooperation in the water sector
German Ambassador Herbert Beck emphasized at the workshop the complexity and interdependence of questions assessed by the feasibility study. To his view, the study shall provide “a comprehensive decision making tool to the Namibian Government to make sound decisions for the future water supply of the coastal and central region.”
Abraham Nehemia, Chief Executive Officer of NamWater, expressed his gratitude towards the German government for the generous financial support and especially KfW for its support towards the execution of the study. He emphasized that water security challenges facing Namibia requires a concerted effort of all stakeholders in order to pull together all the available resources be it financial, human or material. The enormous participation by people from different segments and levels of stakeholders that include politicians, technocrats, diplomats, development partners and government entities demonstrated the degree of importance accorded to the study and to the project. NamWater equally values the participation and the interest of the stakeholders and appreciates the transparent approach during the execution of the study.