Walvis Water Woes Over?


By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The problem of crippling water shortages at Walvis Bay has been resolved. After weeks of extensive repair work by NamWater technicians along the Kuiseb River, residents at the harbour town are now content with the normal flow of water for the past two weeks. Confirming this to New Era recently, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NamWater Dr Vaino Shivute, said the water utility is presently looking at ways to prevent frequent damage to water pipelines and pumps located in the riverbed of the Kuiseb River due to heavy floods. “Our long-term plans are to minimise further disruptions in future flood situations. We need to therefore come up with highly improved and well designed equipment in order to protect these water pipelines in future,” explained the CEO. Currently, water engineers and technicians who had been at the site are busy with upgrading the water infrastructure along the Kuiseb River from which the coastal town sources its water supply. Current borehole sites are also being renovated, while new ones are being drilled. According to Shivute, this is necessary as some of the water pumps at these borehole sites are not working to optimal capacity and have to be replaced, thereby increasing the supply of water pumped to nearby reservoirs. It becomes apparent the Kusieb River Scheme still remains a difficult structure to handle at times because it is prone to severe damages when the river floods particularly during the rainy season. Just recently, a high-level NamWater delegation led by Shivute undertook an extensive tour of the Erongo Region and of Walvis Bay in particular to address the prevailing water problems at the coastal town. The delegation that left in the middle of last week was in the harbour town to find amicable solutions on how best to address the water situation. As part of a more intensive tour, the high-level delegation consisted of the Senior Manager of the Erongo Region Leopalt Niipare, Area Manager Erwin Shiluama, General Manager of Finance Peter Carlson, Engineering General Manager Kuiri Tjipangandjara, General Manager of Water Supply Arno du Plessis, Senior Manager of Maintenance Sebastian Husselmann and Manager of Corporate Communications John Shigwedha. In an earlier interview, the public relations officer of NamWater Tommi-Riva Num-bala said the excursion was undertaken in light of the heavy rains the country has recently received this rainy season, which ultimately results in the flooding of the Kuiseb River that then damages the Nam-Water pumps. “The pumps situated right in the middle of the Kuiseb River are also flooded in the rainy season. The water is supplied to Walvis Bay through these pumps by poles through the use of electricity,” explained Numbala. These pipes normally pump 12 000 cubic meters of water to the harbour town on a daily basis. However, ever since the water problem situation arose from the beginning of this year due to the damaged infrastructure of the NamWater pumps and poles in the Kuiseb River as a result of heavy rains, the residents of Walvis Bay had to make do with rationed water during certain hours of the day. During the three-day tour, the delegation also visited all the other coastal partners in the region. These included municipality officials of Swakopmund, Hen-ties Bay and Arandis and management staff of RÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¶ssing Uranium and other water sub-stations. They also went to view the affected infrastructure at the Kuiseb River and the Langer Heinrich Mine that will be sourcing its water from the Omdel Scheme once it starts its operations.