Water supply at risk as NamWater faces challenges in repairing critical pumps

Niël Terblanché

Namibia’s vital water supply infrastructure faces a severe setback as NamWater struggles to find vendors for the repair of two critically important pumps.

The pumps, responsible for feeding water from the old Berg Aukas Mine into the water canal, also known as the Eastern National Water Carrier, have been out of commission for over a week, leaving farmers along the canal in a desperate situation.

The Berg Aukas Mine plays a pivotal role in supplying groundwater to the canal, which, in turn, is essential for delivering water to central regions of Namibia, including the City of Windhoek. With Namibia grappling with water scarcity due to unpredictable precipitation patterns and high evaporation rates, the uninterrupted operation of these pumps is of paramount importance.

Farmers along the canal, who are heavily reliant on its water, now find themselves without a source of irrigation for their crops and livestock. This dire situation has forced them to transport water daily from Grootfontein, significantly increasing their operational costs.

NamWater confirmed the breakdown of both pumps, and also revealed that they are facing unexpected challenges in procuring the necessary parts for repairs. Nampower cited issues with vendors that have not opened up again after the holiday season.

Windhoek City Council has already implemented water restrictions as part of a comprehensive drought response plan.

The city has been struggling with insufficient water levels in its primary reservoirs such as the Von Bach, Swakoppoort, and Omatako dams.

In response, the CoW has already implemented measures to increase its supply from groundwater sources.

The current crisis highlights the challenges involved in managing water resources in a region heavily reliant on groundwater and plagued by water scarcity.

Despite the challenges, NamWater stated that it is working tirelessly to overcome the obstacles hindering pump repairs.

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