Namibia: Namwater Issues Flood Alert for Kuiseb River

Namwater has warned the residents of Walvis Bay to prepare themselves as infrastructure in the Kuiseb Water Supply Scheme, which the town depends on for water supply, may be damaged by the recent rains.

The water utility's head of public relations and communications, Johannes Shigwedha, in an alert issued on Wednesday said this is because of the heavy flow of water in the Kuiseb River as most of the infrastructure supplying the town is situated within the river.

"There is a possibility that some infrastructure may be damaged due to the current flood. Normally, when the water level at Gobabeb rises above one metre, there is always a possibility of damage to the water supply infrastructure at the Kuiseb Water Supply Scheme," he said.

Shigwedha said since the 2011/12 flood NamWater has invested in the Kuiseb River infrastructure to increase the security of water supply to Walvis Bay.

"The footings of all the power line poles have been encased in concrete up to about one metre above the river bed. All four collector pipelines crossing the river in the Swartbank area have been replaced with continuously welded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipelines buried at least three metres deep," said Shigwedha.

The Kuiseb River is situated 30 km east of Walvis Bay.

According to the Gobabeb-Namib Research Institute's social media post, the river came past Gobabeb for the second time this year, measuring 2,5 m high - the highest since 2013.

"Although it is reported to be about 15 km from the Atlantic Ocean, the level is currently subsiding, reducing the chances of seeing the Kuiseb break into the Atlantic," the post reads.

When the river comes down this strong it also impacts the !Nara harvesting activities of the Topnaar community, who live on the banks of the Kuiseb River.

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