Hardap Dam Gates Opened

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Hardap Dam water levels at the weekend rose above NamWater’s limit of 70 metres, prompting the utility to open the sluice gates to release 200 cubic metres of water per second.

Governor of the Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, told New Era that by yesterday morning, the dam was 70 percent full and the gates were still open with an outflow of 200 cubic metres per second.

On Saturday evening, the dam was 70.6 percent full, prompting NamWater to open the sluice gates at 21h00.

By midday yesterday, the outflow still stood at 200 cubic metres per second.
Presently, there is no threat posed by the water to the Hardap Region residents, Hanse-Himarwa said.

“Compared to 2006, the dam level around February 20 was about 80 percent full. It gives me hope that we are not yet there, there is no reason to panic,” assured the governor.

Hanse-Himarwa, however, warned that there is a possibility that the catchment area will receive more rains any time.

Already by February 20, the Hardap Dam had reached 68 percent, very close to the 70 percent mark at which NamWater would consider opening the gates to release excess floodwater.

Hydrologist from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Guido van Langenhove, yesterday said there was no immediate risk situation.
In 2006, water from the dam flooded Mariental district, causing damage in excess of N$80 million.

The floods two years ago were described as the worst the town had seen since the 1972 devastation when people drowned and property was damaged.

Government through the Office of the Prime Minister pledged N$10 million for short-term infrastructure repairs at Mariental before the end of the year.

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