UNAM pilots seawater desalination for agriculture in Henties Bay

A first-of-its-kind in the world desalination plant, which is entirely and directly operated by solar power, was recently launched at the University of Namibia Sam Nujoma Campus, in Henties Bay. The plant can produce 3 000 litres of drinkable water per hour, at almost no operational cost.

The seawater desalination pilot plant is a joint initiative between the University of Namibia and the University of Turku in Finland, and was installed by Solar Water Solutions (Finland). UNAM will use the plant to turn brackish and saline water into suitable water for human consumption, as well as for agriculture. The impact the research plant aims to achieve is to contribute to food security, increase energy supply while at the same time combating and mitigating the effects of climate change. As a start, UNAM has identified a section of its own land on the Sam Nujoma Campus for immediate agriculture (olive farming) using drip irrigation supplied from the desalination plant. The two-hectares allocated will take some 10 000 trees, from which research will be undertaken.

The plant was launched by Dr Sam Nujoma, Founding President and Father of the Nation, in the presence of Dr Nangolo Mbumba, UNAM Chancellor; Prof Kenneth Matengu, UNAM Vice Chancellor; Mr Alpheus !Naruseb, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry; Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, as well as key stakeholders from the Henties Bay community.

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About the Author: John Rittmann