26 February 2016

Namibia: Slow Progress On Gammams Refurbishment

The City of Windhoek appears to have made little or no progress on a planned refurbishment of its 55 year old water recycling plant located on the western boundaries of the city. This was the indication given by its acting public relations officer, Scheifert Shigwedha upon enquiry by the Economist.

Questioning Shigwedha on the progress made by the City of Windhoek on the probable refurbishment of the plant, he responded this week without indicating any timelines, "the City of Windhoek is hard at work towards the establishment of suitable financial and organisational structures to minimise the capital burden on the organisation and to allow for early implementation and cost recovery over the usable period of the Gammams plant.

This include the sourcing of possible grant funding and long terms loans on favourable terms affordable to residents." In November 2015, the City of Windhoek announced through its monthly council meeting considered establishing a Special Purpose Vehicle all in the hope of attracting private sector finance for its operational expenses, part of which would fund the estimated N$450 million refurbishment of the plant.

It would however appear that the City of Windhoek is at a wits end about its preferred financing model for the financing of the plant. Said Shigwedha about the expected financing model the City of Windhoek would adopt, "the entire concept is quite complex and not fully developed yet, but in essence it would entail long term financing of the assets for recovery over the lifetime of the assets from the users at rates which are affordable to residents.

The City of Windhoek are endeavouring to cover portions of the investment that are not deemed recoverable with grants or possible contributions from central government." The construction of the treatment facility is expected to take approximately three years the City of Windhoek's Manager for Communication, Joshua Amukugo previously explained to the Economist.

Components that will be constructed include a new secondary treatment works, a new odour control facility, new waste piping from the secondary treatment to a new waste activate sludge, new primary treatment such as inlet channels, screens and grit removal as well as a primary sedimentation tank and a new pump station while the 11 kilowatt power line will be relocated.


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