French firm signs MoU with NamWater to secure portable water

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Annines Angula

French firm, Altereo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Namibia’s water utility, NamWater to provide portable water to Keetmanshoop.

The project, which is set to cost R12 million is aimed at securing the drinking water supply and distribution network in the Keetmanshoop area.

The project is expected to address the issue of the obsolete state of the supply and distribution system in Keetmanshoop and ensure sustained, optimal performance of the portable water delivery system.  

According to a press release from Altereo, this will require Altereo, NamWater and the Keetmanshoop municipality simultaneously work together.

The construction of the project has already began in September and it is estimated to last for 18 months.

Speaking at the signing ceremony this week, held at the French Embassy in Namibia, the deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Anna Shiweda said her ministry support this project fully, as this potable water supply system remains an integral part of the water supply system to the southern part of Namibia.

“It is satisfying to note that the French government has come forward to assist by availing funds through the Fasep programme to carry out a diagnostic analysis on the Keetmanshoop Naute Dam pipeline,” she said.

The work will also be extended to a master plan preparation of the Keetmanshoop municipality reticulation system.

“The agriculture, water and forestry ministry would in the same vein like to implore on the French government to consider assisting in seeing through the implementation of the findings to unlock significant value in the lives of ordinary Namibians by joining hands with our government,” she said.  

She added that, without the implementation of the findings of this project the intended objective and targets cannot be achieved.

The first exchanges between stakeholders of the Namibian water sector and Altereo/G2C ingénierie took place during the official visit of Namibian President Dr. Hage Geingob, to France in November 2016.

Christian Laplaud, President of Altereo/G2C ingénierie, discussed the situation in the country and the urgent needs to be addressed with the CEO of NamWater, Dr. Vaino Shivute in the presence of Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, the then Ambassador of France to Namibia.

Following this meeting, and at the invitation of John Mutorwa, then Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the delegation from Atlereo carried out two week-long missions in early 2017 and 2018 to qualify the needs identified by NamWater and define the services to be provided.

The 2018 mission was carried out in the presence of Claire Bodonyi, the French  Ambassador to Namibia, and Jean Baptiste Dabezies, Regional Sectoral Counsellor at the Economic Service of the French Embassy in South Africa.

As a result of these missions, NamWater and the water ministry proposed focusing the Naute/Keetmanshoop scheme, resulting in a request for a project financed by the French Ministry of Finance via a Fasep grant on 14 September 2017.

Meetings with the mayor and chief executive officer of Keetmanshoop Municipality further confirmed the difficulties encountered in the management of drinking water distribution within the municipality, with in particular unexplained losses, estimated at over 30%.

As a result of these discussions, the distribution network of the Municipality was also added to the project scheme

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