By Charles Tjatindi
The development of residential property in Swakopmund has been so phenomenal that it has now taken in the sewerage treatment plant at the town, literally placing it at the doorsteps of some residents. This has necessitated the need to relocate the sewerage plant.
This was confirmed by a recent Environmental Impact study conducted at the town. Residents living close to the plant are exposed to health risk posed by flies and foul smell emanating from the plant.
The Swakopmund Municipality, at an information-sharing meeting with residents, recently made results of the study public. It emerged during the meeting that developments during the last 50 years at the holiday town have placed the treatment plant in the middle of town, as opposed to the safe distance out of town where it ‘stood’ back then. The Swakopmund Municipality has therefore proposed four sites to relocate the Sewerage Treatment Plant.
The four sites were ‘short listed’ from a variety of others, after several considerations. Such considerations included the prospected continuation of growth and expansion to the town; access to the treatment plant considering roads, water and electricity; amongst others. The proposed sites: 1) an area in the vicinity of the Swakopmund Airport; 2) the salt pans; 3) South East of bricks manufacturing plant; and 4) North West of the bricks manufacturing plant.
Although the site next to the airport appears favourable due to its proximity to the town, and availability of water, it is greatly disadvantaged by the fact that such a development would amongst other things attract birds to the site, which could pose a danger to planes taking off and landing at the nearby airport. The site does also not have electricity nearby, which would make it costly to run.
The area South East of the bricks plant also has the same effects on air traffic, although a road to be constructed nearby would ease traffic traveling to Henties Bay, as it would not need to go through Swakopmund for this purpose. The site is also close to a residential area, and would therefore not be able to support further development. The area North West of the brick-making plant is considered appropriate, as it is located far from residential suburbs, making it ideal to handle future development of the town.
Swakopmund’s topography also favours the site in terms of sewerage pipe works, amongst others. Its only disadvantage is that it will be extremely expensive and costly to power the envisaged treatment plant.
The remaining site, the salt plains, is considered an ideal natural buffer zone due to its abundance of salt, while water and electricity could also be made available at a cheaper rate. However, threats of pollution emanating from sewerage water to the salt plant could not be ruled out for this site.
The Swakopmund Town Council plans to hold similar meetings with its communities, in a bid to further short list an ideal site for the envisaged project.