Desalination plants to help combat drought and water scarcity

Niël Terblanché

In a pioneering effort to tackle the severe drought conditions afflicting the Kunene Region, regional authorities have announced the formation of a task team dedicated to exploring the viability of desalination plants.

This initiative, aimed at purifying the region’s salty or brackish groundwater, promises renewed hope for the communities and livestock struggling with water scarcity.

The initiative was unveiled by the Kunene Regional Governor, Marius Sheya, following a comprehensive one-day fact-finding mission around Khorixas, which laid bare the critical water shortage plaguing the area.

Despite existing efforts by the government to mitigate the crisis—such as drilling new boreholes and constructing water reservoirs—most have only yielded brackish or salty water, rendering it nearly unfit for consumption.

Acknowledging the urgency of the situation, Sheya expressed optimism that the proposed desalination plants would offer a sustainable solution to the water woes faced by both people and animals in the drought-stricken region.

“We are hopeful that the desalination initiative will provide the much-needed relief to the affected communities,” Sheya remarked while reiterating the project’s potential to significantly improve the living conditions of people.

In the interim, the regional government has deployed two water tank trucks to deliver clean drinking water daily to various communities in need.

This stopgap measure ensures that the residents have access to safe drinking water while they wait for a more permanent solution.

Once operational, the desalination plants are expected to support approximately 35 to 40 households in the hardest-hit areas.

The availability of fresh water will also enable these affected communities to establish small vegetable gardens, enhancing their dietary options and developing greater self-sufficiency.

As the Kunene Region steps towards securing its water future, the desalination project will attest to the community’s resilience and the government’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of its citizens in the face of climatic adversities.

The initiative not only aims to address the immediate challenge of water scarcity but also sets a precedent for innovative water management solutions in arid regions.

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