Namibia: Cabinet Takes Swift Action to Avert Water Crisis

In a decisive move to tackle an impending water crisis, the Cabinet has greenlit urgent measures aimed at staving off potential shortages across the nation.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Emma Theofelus unveiled this in Cabinet’s latest decisions for 2024.

Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, Theofelus disclosed that immediate steps would be taken to fast-track short- to medium-term projects designed to counter the looming water scarcity gripping the country.

The Cabinet’s directives specifically target the North Central, Southern, Northeastern, and Erongo Regions, as well as the Central Areas, encompassing the capital city of Windhoek. Notably, plans to bolster long-term water supply solutions have been greenlit, with a particular focus on harnessing resources from the Okavango River.

“The Cabinet has given its preliminary approval for funding to secure a long-term water supply from the Okavango River, amounting to 32 million cubic meters annually,’ Theofelus confirmed.

However, she cautioned that without substantial intervention, existing water sources would only suffice to meet demand in the Central Areas until July 2025, contingent upon a 5% reduction in water consumption by consumers.

Despite ongoing efforts to implement short- to medium-term initiatives, Theofelus acknowledged the persistent threat of severe water shortages over the next four to seven years unless sustainable long-term solutions are realized.

To this end, the government is initiating a feasibility study for a desalination plant in the Northern region, backed by funding from the African Development Bank. Additionally, plans are underway to explore the viability of supplying potable water to southern regions through pipelines originating from integrated southern dams.

The Cabinet’s proactive stance underscores a commitment to safeguarding Namibia’s water security and ensuring a sustainable future for its citizens amidst mounting environmental pressures.

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