Swakopmund injects N$28 million into sewage infrastructure

SWAKOPMUND – Located at the forefront of urban innovation in Namibia, Swakopmund has become the first city in the country with an officially approved results-based structural plan.

The comprehensive plan emphasizes integrated development across all sectors, with the aim of transforming Swakopmund into a pioneering smart city.

In anticipation of this growth, Swakopmund Council invested more than $28 million in its sewer infrastructure.

These critical improvements over the years were necessary due to the increasing housing demands of the city’s more than 75,000 residents, which put pressure on the infrastructure.

“However, since 2014, we have identified ten critical projects to improve sewer infrastructure. These projects included the establishment of 26 pumping stations, the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, and the strategic relocation of sewer lines. Before the pipes were relocated, many residents faced frequent sewage spills in their yards, which particularly affected the municipality of Mondesa,” said Clerence McClune, general manager of the engineering department.

He explained that in the past the city experienced blockages and sewage overflows in some parts, as the previous system was not designed to accommodate the growing population, along with the increase in commercial activities.

The overall goal is to create vibrant, liveable spaces, while strategically preparing the city for future growth and development.

Over the years, the number of residents in the informal settlement also increased and saw the creation of new townships, such as Matutura and the DRC extensions, where houses have been built.

Given this, he said, the council also embarked on installing sewage systems in these areas to facilitate flow and minimize blockages.

Although there are concerns, the council is assessing whether the existing system can handle the additional load in terms of new housing and town settlement or whether a major infrastructure upgrade will be required.

McClune further emphasized that while significant progress has been made, ongoing urbanization and population growth continue to put pressure on the city’s infrastructure.

The municipality is committed to further improvements, but faces limitations due to financial and logistical challenges, he said.

Future projects will focus on accommodating this growth, as well as ensuring the efficiency and reliability of the sewer system, he continued.

Overall, the extensive improvements have led to a notable reduction in blockages and spills, especially in problem areas such as Mondesa.

However, as McClune pointed out, the problem of crashes can never be eliminated due to the nature of what is sometimes removed in the system.

Commitment

Swakopmund Mayor Dina Namubes echoed the view that the council will continually invest in improving various municipal infrastructure such as sewage, water and roads.

In addition to the millions invested, an additional N$14 million was also spent on vehicles and machinery to help clear blockages as well as respond to calls of sewer problems.

“These upgrades represent more than just improved infrastructure. It means our commitment to sustainability, efficiency and resilience in the face of challenges. By investing in our sewer system, we are investing in the future of our community, ensuring it remains a safe, healthy and vibrant place for generations to come,” he stated.

She said: “As our community continues to grow and evolve, so must our infrastructure. Today let us be a reminder of the importance of continuous maintenance, innovation and investment in the systems that support us.”

Residents

Additionally, Swakopmund CEO Archie Benjamin said all development and improvement projects are owed to loyal residents who continue to pay their rates and taxes.

This money is reinvested in development, he said.

“They see that houses are being built and even that they are being allocated. The town is clean and beautiful. On top of that, there is always communication between council and residents through community meetings,” Benjamin said.

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