The Windhoek Municipality has to overcome several challenges such as bypassing environmental laws to cater for the government’s mass urban land servicing project, through which the government intends to deliver 200 000 plots countrywide.
The challenges are contained in the environmental impact assessment for service provision for Goreangab Extension 4 Township.
The assessment determined that about 338 plots can be serviced in the area, which covers about 15.8 hectares.
Chief among the worries, according to the municipality, is the loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction. “Various protected plant species were observed on-site and this might be destroyed/disturbed during the construction of services to the township. The clearing of vegetation to make way for the installation of services might also destroy the habitat that support the various forms of biodiversity in the area,” said the municipality in the assessment.
It however indicated: “The recommended mitigation measures such as preserving protected plant species can minimize the destruction. The impact will also be low due to the fact that there is no plant species that is endemic to the area.”
Since the site is located within the catchment area of the Goreangab Dam, the municipality warned that proper drainage systems should be developed to control the flow of surface water, in order to avoid flooding.
“Storm water management should form part of the engineering,” stated the municipality.
The assessment ascertained that construction work would result in noise pollution.
“The likely influx of labour to Goreangab Extension 4 area during the construction of services at the township may influence the spread of HIV/AIDS in the surrounding communities,” said the municipality.
The municipality recommended that an awareness-raising programme be established at the site and provision be made for the distribution of condoms to workers. The environmental management plan however calls for the enhancement of avenues for wider community participation in the development of the township, increased opportunities to public health and to minimise disturbance to the natural environment.
“A buffer conservation area between the dam and the residential area will remain undeveloped and left for recreational and sustainable income generating opportunities,” further stated the municipality.
According to the municipality, provision has been made on-site for business establishments, a school and crèche as well as recreational facilities, while an open space near the dam will be used for recreational and conservation purposes.
Full services will be installed, including a waterborne sewerage system to drain in the direction of the New Otjomuise Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Government this week made its first tangible move towards reaching the target when it allocated N$121 million for the servicing of plots in Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Oshakati.