By Charles Tjatindi
Despite envisaged expansive development for the town of Walvis Bay, which amongst others includes oil refineries and depots, as well as the Namibia Ports Authority’s (NamPort) expansion project, the lack of sufficient energy supply is worrisome.
Mayor of Walvis Bay, Derek Klazen, made this observation at a recent ordinary council meeting, noting that the anticipated load-shedding schedule that would result in a low supply of electricity could strain local development.
Klazen noted that more demand for electricity in Walvis Bay would be imminent, given the proposed developments that are coming the harbour town’s way. He said while such developments will provide a positive boost for the local economy in terms of employment creation, their effects on the town’s electricity supply cannot be ignored.
“Although these are all exciting prospects, I do no wish to ignore the challenges we face to keep the momentum of our progress alive,” he said.
Klazen noted that such rapid expansion and developments at the harbour town have created a high demand for housing and obligated the local municipality to step in. The municipality, according to the mayor, will address the issue by making more serviced land available.
The absence of adequate and affordable housing at Walvis Bay has resulted in the mushrooming of shacks as alternative accommodation units, which has created various problems for the municipality.
Despite the obvious dangers of fire and other natural disasters, the mushrooming of shacks has also placed tremendous pressure on the town’s sewerage network.
The mayor said the old Kuisebmond hostel redevelopment would provide more houses at the town. Thirty-nine housing units will be constructed as part of this project, to the tune of N$3 million.
“Once completed, these modern units will change the face of the old compound in Kuisebmond completely. It will effectively bring an end to the painful reminder of its ‘apartheid’ legacy,” he said.
Walvis Bay has encountered various problems with major service supply utilities in the past few months, most notably with water supply. Due to low volumes of water in storage tanks that cater for the town’s needs, the constant flow of water to both household and business customers were affected.
According to Klazen, however, such problems have been rectified.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to the community of Walvis Bay who has had to bear the discomforts brought about by the water supply disruptions. The Water Department of the Municipality of Walvis Bay and NamWater have strengthened their ties of cooperation to ensure a swift and effective response in an event of a flood in the Kuiseb river or a breakdown of infrastructure, that may impede water supply,” he noted.