Eenhana storage reservoir and defluoridation plant ready

By Rosalia David

MINISTER of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein last week said the Eenhana 5000 cubic metres storage reservoir and defluoridation plant is now ready for use.

Schlettwein mentioned this at the inauguration of the plant saying that for many years, Eenhana has been getting its water from Oshakati via Omafo and that water originates from the Calueque Dam in south-west Angola via an open canal conveyance system.

“With the installation of the three boreholes and this plant, NamWater will no longer supply Eenhana with water from Oshakati everyday as it used to be the case. The three boreholes have sufficient yield and the Oshakati water is now just used as a back-up,” he said.

He added that, although that system ran smoothly for some time, the huge water demand placed on the Oshakati treatment plant has seen insufficient water reaching Eenhana in recent years.

“Such water supply challenges called for an immediate action from us in the water sector. In 2010, the Namibian Government’s Department of Water Affairs with assistance of the German Government’s Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) started investigating ground water potential in the vicinity of Eenhana,” he said.

The investigation, Schlettwein said, led to the confirmation of abundant water resources in what is now popularly known as the Ohangwena II Aquifer.

After what was found through the investigation, the minister stated that NamWater proceeded to drill three boreholes in the aquifer, supplementing water that comes from Oshakati.

“I am told that it was a very challenging project as the boreholes are drilled quite deep at 350 metres below the ground surface. The drilling was successful, however, there was another problem as the water quality did not meet the standard that would classify it suitable for human consumption.”

He said the level of fluoride in the water at a range of 3.0 to 4.0 milligram per litre was too high than acceptable and through their developmental relationship, the German government availed a grant through BGR amounting to N$5.6 million at the time so that NamWater can install a treatment plant that can remove excess fluoride from the borehole water so that such water can be suitable for consumption by the community.

With additional funding by NamWater, he said a brand new defluoridation plant was constructed and is operating perfectly today.