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Namwater visits Dundee to learn how to unsilt water canal

Namwater visits Dundee to learn how to unsilt water canal

Namwater looked to the private sector this week to find a solution to the silting problem in the eastern water carrier. This canal must be cleaned regularly by Namwater technicians to prevent a build-up of mud which affects both the quality of the water and the rate of flow.

The eastern water carrier runs from Grootfontein to the Omatako Dam, passing relatively close to Okakarara. With a rate of flow of only 2 m3/s, silting is a major problem in open sections of the canal. The process to clean the canal is known as wet suctioning. It is not complicated but can be hazardous.

Dundee Precious Metals, the operator of the smelter at Tsumeb, also has to process large quantities of water. Wet suction is part of the technology used on a daily basis. Namwater decided to approach Dundee under their open-door policy to send five Namwater employees on a technical fact-finding mission to learn how Dundee uses wet suctioning.

Earlier this week, Namwater’s Chief Operating Officer for business in northern Namibia, Kaliki Kambanda, accompanied by the acting Area Manager Thomas Shilwa, a maintenance technician, Johannes Kanuku, the scheme superintendent Moses Shakela and acting foreman, Trevor Kaaronda visited the Dundee smelter to observe first-hand the water suctioning process.

According to Kambanda, the main objective was to see the processes of suctioning, controlling, mudding and pumping.

“We want to find a way of sucking out mud in a way that will not damage the canal or endanger labourers” she said adding that in her opinion Namwater and Dundee perform similar functions when it comes to wet suctioning. “The tour served our purpose” she said.

In the picture are, from the left, Kaliki Kambanda, Thomas Shilwa, Johannes Kanuku, Moses Shakela and Trevor Kaaronda with the senior manager of Dundee Precious Metal Tsumeb, Arthur Scholz in the back.

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