By Simon Liseli
Construction of a new state-of-the-art multi-million-dollar development, which will include water supply infrastructure in Katima Mulilo and other parts of Zambezi region was officially launched on Thursday.
The project is being managed by Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) with the tune of N$ 13.6 million Namibian dollars.
During the ground breaking ceremony , Zambezi Governor, Lawrence Alfea Sampofu said it was pleasure for him to mark the momentum mile stone in the development of water supply infrastructure, in particular the provision of water in Katima Mulilo and surrounding areas.
According to him, the strategic objectives that are outlined in the development plan shows that the Namibian government is committed to its nationalities to have access to enough water of proper quantity and quality.
Sampofu explained that NamWater is a public institution charged by the government of the Republic of Namibia with the responsibility to provide bulk-water for the Namibian nation in a sustainable manner and meet the demand.
“Clean water is essential for life, which is a fundamental requirement for human right, dignity and development and access to clean drinking water is a sixth (6) goal of the Sustainable Development Agenda for Vision 2030, with the target to achieve Universal and Equitable Access to serve an affordable drinking water for all” he explained.
As NamWater continues to play a vital role in the nation’s development efforts and as such water utility increases and value of services it provides contributes to the country’ s ambitious Namibia’s Vision 2030 Development Strategies.
NamWater Vision Statement is “We shall be sustainable water utility, providing sufficient and affordable quality water to all stakeholders”
Its Mission Statement is “We shall provide quality water and related services to the satisfaction of stakeholders taking services of the environment and dependence of all on water”
Zambezi Governor made a clarion call that its everyone’s obligation as a responsible citizen to pay for water services rendered to enable the cooperation to invest for future to continue serving the nation.
“The role that you play as supply of water is very crucial as no country can develop without water”
He mentioned that supplying water to Katima Mulilo and surrounding areas in adequate amount to acceptable quality has become a major concern and challenge to NamWater.
In response to this challenge in the region, the board of directors for NamWater approved the execution of the project to address water demand and support government in its bid to extend the supply of water to rural areas to provide drinking water to its people.
“Am pleased that Namwater has taken a decision to install a booster pump on Sibbinda pipeline at Sachinga to ensure that there’s sufficient pressure in the pipeline for water to reach Sibbinda and surrounding areas”
Sampofu noted that the promise that were made by NamWater during its various engagement with the Zambezi Regional Council were indeed kept and observed. He urged NamWater to continue attending to other water supply interventions that they have mutual agreed to have them addressed and also encouraged collaborations between different government agencies in the region to ensure the planning and development of public infrastructures is harmonised and addressed.
At the same occasion , Chief Executive Officer of NamWater , Mr. Abraham Nehemia said through the engagement that NamWater and Zambezi Regional Council had previously , has resulted the Katima Mulilo raw water pipeline construction that will supply water in the town of Katima Mulilo and community services by Sibbinda pipeline.
Katima raw water pipeline will also supply pipeline from Katima to Bukalo and Katima to Linyanti pipeline as it will not receive water if Katima raw water pipeline is not in good operating conditions.
Mr. Nehemia divulged that reducing shortage of water at Sibbinda and surrounding areas, NamWater has constructed a pump station at Sachinga some 40-kilometers west of Katima Mulilo that will reduce the amount of wastage that previously prevented water from reaching Sibbinda.
The project for Sachinga Water Reservoir in Sibbinda Constituency was executed at an amount of N$2,4 million Namibian Dollars, and was inaugurated by Zambezi Governor Sampofu on August 10, 2023 to give water more pressure to reach Sibbinda.
He said many structures in Katima Mulilo has been built on top of pipelines that caused engineering disasters , and the new pipeline that was launched will avoid these disasters.
The Katima raw water pipeline will reduce challenges of water demand in the region and its completion will have a significant impact to NamWater’s guest for filling its mandate and providing sustainable water supply.
With the support of the Namibian government, financing have been secured from the German Development Bank (GDB) for upgrading and extending capacities of raw water abstraction system where water will flow from the river into the pipeline.
“Currently , additional funds have been secured from Africa Development Bank (ADB) to construct the 12000 mm2 reservoir for Katima Mulilo Town, relevant documents and design have been completed and procurement phase for the construction will soon start” promised NamWater CEO.
The CEO retaliated that NamWater has heard the Zambezi Regional Council’s concerns when it comes to water challenges that is being addressed step by step to ensure that water in the region is realised.
“For your information we have already appointed an area manager based in Katima Mulilo and will in due course establish the maintenance support team in the region to do away with these current arrangements where maintenance work is done by people in Rundu” he remarked
NamWater Chief Nehemia concluded by extending appreciations to Katima Mulilo Local Authority(KMTC) for clearing its bill(debt) with NamWater.