The environmental impacts of upgrading the Olushandja Dam, northern Namibia

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The purpose of this dissertation is to assess and evaluate various water level management options for the upgrading of Olushandja Dam in northern Namibia within the framework of the environmental impact assessment carried out for the project. This will enable the Namibian Department of Water Affairs (DWA) to improve their management of the dam for the benefit of the local communities and consumers in the Oshana Water Region (Figure 5 . 1). The dam has been in existence since 1975 and is part of the Calueque-Olushandja inter-basin water transfer scheme. A pipeline and a series of canals links Calueque Dam , on the Cunene River in Angola , with Olushandja Dam in Namibia and the urban areas to the east and south. In order to provide for the expected increase in water requirements from agricultural and rural development the scheme is presently being upgraded. An environmental impact assessment (EIA) was initiated in 1994 by the DWA as a requirement of the Dutch Government who are funding the project. Biophysical studies were undertaken by staff from the DWA and private consultants from Windhoek. The socio-economic study was carried out by a study team from the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, in association with a consultant from the University's Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU). The EEU was appointed to compile a full EIA based on the findings of the specialist reports. This report is expected to be completed by October 1995.

Includes bibliographical references.