Crocodile attacks at villages along the river dotting the recently proclaimed settlement of Divundu in Kavango East could be a thing of the past when Namwater commissions a modern water purification plant at the settlement in two weeks’ time, as confirmed by the constituency councilor and the contractor.
The commissioning ceremony will likely be attended by NamWater’s CEO, Dr Vaino Shivute and the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, among others.
EMS Contractors CC, owned by Dries Pretorius, is currently working at a frenetic pace to put the finishing touches to the state-of-the-art water purification plant that cost the water utility N$24 million.
Residents of the settlement along the crocodile-infested river usually incur stock losses, and more tragically are also prone to attacks by man-eating crocodiles that on average catch and kill eight people a year, causing untold grief among residents who depend on the river for water for domestic use. Divundu Village Council, a settlement of slightly over 5 000 residents, according to the last census results, has within its boundaries several villages and those that suffered the brunt of lightning-quick and deadly crocodile attacks include Bagani, Ndongo, Kake, Divundu, Samundambo and Kamut’jonga. Outgoing Mukwe Constituency Councillor Kristian Kalyangu Muriki says the new water plant will not only mitigate crocodile attacks, but will unlock Divindu’s true economic potential because investors have in the past been discouraged from investing in a settlement that does not have potable water. “It will definitely attract investors, because the first thing investors have been asking about is the availability of water and electricity and currently we have both the water and electricity together with new roads,” enthused Muriki – who is on the last stretch of his tenure as Divundu’s constituency councilor.
Christoph Mbereshu, the senior administrative officer for Divundu settlement, also reiterated Muriki‘s sentiments regarding the great potential for the new water plant to attract investors to Divundu. “The provision of potable water will attract investors to come to Divundu and invest. It will also contribute to the development of the village council, because the new council will collect revenue through water tariffs on residents,” Mbereshu asserted. He further elaborated that the lack of clean drinking water at the settlement has been one of the major stumbling blocks that in the past prevented the settlement from being declared a village council.
“The residents are very happy, because when our water taps start running this will eliminate the need for villagers and other residents to fetch water from the river, where there is always the possibility of losing one’s life,” Mbereshu further said. According to Pretorius, the new water purification system comprises a river abstraction plant fitted with two pumps that draws 60 cubic metres (60 000 litres) of untreated water from the river, which is then piped into two flocculation tanks. From the flocculation pumps the water – that by now would have been mixed with flocculants to remove some of the dirt – is then pumped into settler tanks where the semi-purified water is separated from the river sediments.
It will then be pumped through a bank of sand filters and from these sand filters the water will gradually be pumped as potable to reservoirs, after chlorine in gaseous form has been injected into it and eventually piped to the 250 000 litre reservoir ready for use.
Lime will also be added into the chlorinated water before it is ready for use by consumers at Divundu.