A newly commissioned water treatment plant will allow the Namibian Institute of Mines and Technology (NIMT) college at Arandis to save on water consumption and at the same time on costs.
Funded by the German government some of the water consumed at the training school in the arid Namib Desert as well as the Keetmanshoop and Tsumeb campusses will henceforth be treated and reused.
The new water treatment plants was recently inaugurated at the Arandis Campus. At the same time two containerized units were also installed and commissioned at the Keetmanshoop and one unit at the Tsumeb campuses.
Each of the units can produce 20 000 litres of purified waste water per day. This water is then reused for grey water, toilet flushing, car washing and gardening.
According to Gabi Schneider, the chairperson of NIMT board of directors the new sanitation infrastructure will mainly lead to savings on water consumption and reduce the institution’s operating costs. More importantly, the waste water treatment plant will facilitate training and “capacity building while promoting local development”.
The new infrastructure, which has just been inaugurated, is worth N$10 million. Funding was provided by the German government, with the support of the Rotary International Foundation.
According to Schneider, the NIMT waste water treatment plant will boost Namibia’s capacity to reuse recycled water. Waste water treatment is nothing new to Namibia as many of the towns in the country like Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Tsumeb, Otjiwarongo, Okahandja, Mariental, Oranjemund and the capital city, Windhoek have been using recycled water for decades.
Windhoek, the capital, is considered a model city in terms of waste water recycling in Namibia. It has the country’s largest waste water treatment plant, the New Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant (NGWRP), managed by Wingoc (Windhoek Goreangab Operating Company), a consortium that includes Veolia, Berlinwasser International and Wabag, since 2001.
Treated waste water has been mixed with drinking water for more than 45 years. This is a clear example of direct water reuse and a form of perfect circular economy, applied to water. However, such direct reuse of waste water for drinking purposes is specific to Windhoek as other towns are still reluctant to allow humans to consume recycled water. This water is more likely to be used for irrigation.