Namibia: Orano Gives Erongo Desalinated Water

By Adam Hartman / May 19, 2020 / allafrica.com / Article Link

ORANO Mining Namibia has donated 200 million litres of desalinated water to local authorities in the coastal area.

The value of the once-off donation is about N$6 million, Orano spokesperson Christine de Klerk said last week.

The donation is in support of the government's efforts to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The water will be distributed through NamWater from the Erongo Desalination Plant just north of Wlotzkasbaken.

Orano Mining Namibia's managing director, Tommie Gouws, said the donation is to complement the supply of clean water to Henties Bay, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Arandis.

"Clean water is a key element to good hygiene in the fight against the new coronavirus, but more importantly, the donation will benefit communities who are struggling to pay their water bills in this challenging time.

"We hope it will bring relief to the economic pressures faced by local authorities as they endeavour to provide communities in Erongo with free water."

The Erongo desalination plant was built in 2010 at a cost of N$2,5 billion, originally to supply Orano's Trekkopje mine near Arandis with water.

The mine is currently under care and maintenance because of the continued drop in uranium prices, making mining operations unviable.

It is the largest seawater desalination plant of its kind in southern Africa.

Today the plant is part of the integrated water infrastructure along the central coast, consisting of the Omdel and Kuiseb aquifers, and can produce 20 million cubic metres of water a year.

Orano has offered to sell the plant to the government, but to date no deal has been struck.

Last year, founding president Sam Nujoma said even if the Orano plant was running at full capacity, it would be seen as an additional source if the Kuiseb aquifer, on which Walvis Bay depends, runs out.

The plant would not be able to supply the coast and central Namibia with sufficient water.