NamWater CEO Abraham Nehemia at the ground-breaking of the Ohangwena II Wellfield Water Supply Schemes project at  Eenhana

Abraham Nehemia

As the chief executive of NamWater, it is my privilege to welcome you to this momentous occasion, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ohangwena II Wellfield Water Supply Schemes (WSS) project.

This project marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance water security and support sustainable development in the Ohangwena region. 

The project, under the auspices of the Namibia Water Sector Support Programme, is a collaborative effort between the government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), aiming to enhance water supply infrastructure and ensure sustainable access to quality water for Eenhana and its neighbouring communities.

Water is essential for life and the development of civilisations. In the Ohangwena region, where population growth and industrialisation are rapidly advancing, water remains crucial for sustainable development.

NamWater, officially known as the Namibia Water Corporation Ltd, was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 12 of 1997, and was registered as a company on 9 December 1997. As a commercial entity with a public interest mandate, NamWater operates on the full cost recovery principle, supplying bulk water to industries, municipalities, and the Directorate of Rural Water Supply in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform. 

Our mission is to provide quality water and related services to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, while being mindful of the environment, the scarcity of water, and the dependence of all on this vital resource. Our vision is to be a sustainable water utility that provides sufficient and affordable quality water to all stakeholders.

For years, Eenhana has relied on water supplied from Oshakati through Omafo, originating roughly 300km from the Calueque Dam in southwest Angola via an open canal conveyance system. While initially efficient, increasing demand from the Oshakati Treatment Plant has recently suppressed water reaching Eenhana. This challenge necessitated prompt action from our water sector.

In 2010, our government, in collaboration with the German government’s Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), conducted an investigation through the Department of Water Affairs, confirming significant water resources within the Ohangwena II Aquifer.

To ascertain the sustainable abstraction levels of this aquifer, NamWater drilled five high-yielding boreholes at Eenhana, supplementing the two production boreholes drilled by the BGR at Oshandi. This massive project will entail the following phases:

i. Equipping two new boreholes at Eenhana and two existing boreholes at Oshandi;

ii.  Installing an additional reverse osmosis (RO) purification plant;

iii. Constructing brine disposal ponds adequate for both existing and planned RO treatment plants;

iv.  Constructing new pump stations;

v. Constructing various pipelines;

vi.  Constructing elevated and ground reservoirs.

This project represents just the beginning of unlocking the potential of this aquifer. The aim is to evaluate its capability to supply water not only to the Ohangwena region, but also to the wider northern regions. 

The socio-economic benefits of this project are vast. Water is fundamental to sustainable development, impacting health, agriculture, industry, and overall quality of life. By ensuring a reliable water supply, we are laying the foundation for socio-economic progress in the Ohangwena region. This project will support growth, attract investment, and improve living standards.

It is for this reason today, that our honourable minister is here for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ohangwena 2 Wellfield Project, which will lead to improved availability of potable water for more communities in the Ohangwena region.

On behalf of NamWater’s board of directors and personnel, I thank our government for supporting the water utility in fulfilling its mandate.

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