A transboundary initiative aimed at providing clean drinking water and proper sanitation between Angola and Namibia is making steady progress. The Kunene Transboundary Water Supply Project — is a good model of trans-boundary cooperation in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). The KTWSP will improve the water supply for around 700,000 residents of southern Angola and northern Namibia, providing for domestic consumption, irrigation, and industry. The project includes the rehabilitation of the Calueqe Dam in southern Angola, which suffered extensive damage during the country’s 27 years of civil war. So far, some 35 million dollars have been invested in the project, which is being funded by the Namibian and Angola governments and contributions from the UK, the German Development Bank and Australia.
Dr Kuiri Tjipangandjara, an engineer at the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) and co-Chair of the KTWSP, told IPS that construction of a new pipeline between the southern Angola towns of Xangongo and Ondjiva has already begun. This link will supply treated water to various towns and villages along its route, such as Namacunde, Santa-Clara and Chiedi. Designs for the network to distribute water within and around Ondjiva are in progress, as are plans for another bulk water pipeline linking Santa Clara to the Namibian town of Oshakati.
Tjipangandjara said Angola has also begun setting up a water utility for the Kunene region. “There was nothing in place before, and it takes time to set up such a utility and other facilities of the project,” he said. Numerous design and feasibility studies must be conducted and approved by all involved parties: Angola, Namibia, SADC and the German Development Bank. “Of course it will be a state-owned utility,” he said, but he did not venture to predict if it would eventually operate on a cost-recovery basis like NamWater, explaining that each country designs its own policies – dictated by the reality on the ground and by history. –