FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue 2010

Third day of FANRPAN regional meeting: field visit

2 September 2010
Source: 
Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD)

The participants of the FANRPAN regional meeting visited on 1st September the Water Banking/Windhoek Aquifer and the Farm Krumhuk.

The Windhoek Aquifer is located to the south of the city extending northwarts from the Ausa Mountains for 20 to 25 km as far as the city center. Local water resources are very limited and most of the city’s water supply is obtained from surface impoundments located at a distance of tens to hundreds of kilometers from the city.

Large fluctuations in annual rainfall aggravate the situation. The lack of water has led to direct recycling of reclaimed waste water and the implementation of water demand management. During the droughts of 1996, a decision was taken to investigate the feasibility of storing surplus surface water underground through the artificial recharging of the Windhoek aquifer. As the recharge water will be injected directly into the aquifer without seeping through the unsaturated zone it was concluded that the injection water quality needs to conform at least to drinking water requirements.

A cost plan that was drafted up until 2025 shows that the total cost of recharging the aquifer by the Windhoek municipality is estimated at Namibian dollars 88,5 million. The Windhoek Aquifer is bounded by impermeable formations on all sides. Windhoek aquifer was the most feasible option currently available for augmentation of water supply to the central areas of the country, which would secure water for Windhoek, Okahandja, Karibib and the Navachab gold mine. The purpose is to store annually some 8 million liters of water in the aquifer. This should reduce from 8 to 2 years the period of recovery and increase the capacity to overcome drought periods.

Remote sensing and geologist should determine whether similar conditions prevail in other African countries for similar approaches to water conservation to cope with climate change. The participants/visitors of the FANRPAN workshop noticed the present use of fuel for the pumping system and the high cost for introducing alternative sources of energy for the artificial water refill installation (like solar and wind energy). Investments in such infrastructure are still searched for.

The Farm Krumhuk is situated 25 km south from Windhoek Namibia. It is owned by the Voigts family since 1898 and the current owner is Mr. Ulf-Dieter Voigts. The “21 Krumhuk” partnership, an umbrella organization for different projects on the farm includes the Agricultural Training Centre Krumhuk, the ARIS farm school, the Farm Kinder Garten and in the future a retirement project for farmer labors. Some 70 persons presently life from the farm.

The farm is 8,540 ha in size and situated in the 360 mm long term annual rainfall zone. Since August 2010 it is certified as an organic producer. Farming enterprises include beef cattle, dairy, game management, meat processing, milk processing, vegetable and herbs (2,600 km2), fodder production for the dairy (1,5 ha), house hold processing for a weekly bio market, trophy hunting, tourism and bee keeping. Challenges when started in 1980 include droughts, erosion, no perennial grasses, high inflation rate, apartheid, etc. Through a holistic approach most of these challenges were overcome the last 25 years. Current challenges include no skilled labor on farms, therefore low productivity, high input prices for production, water shortages, too high water run-off from the farm during raining season, social challenges in a big community.

These challenges are met by cost control and book keeping; try to reduce run off of water, conduct experiments with rain water catchments. There are community events like some festivals, singing and eurhythmy and regular palavers with the community.