Water resource management has increasingly become a primary focus of communities around the world. This is due to population growth and better understanding of the health concerns associated with the quality of potable water, and the proper treatment of wastewater. Water as a limited resource can meet the needs of the society and nature by means of water reuse and the implementation of modern technologies.
Gaining access to water for domestic use – both drinking (potable) water and water for sanitation and washing – remains a challenge for many Namibians, especially those in rural communities. Having to source water from remote supplies each day creates a situation whereby time and energy are devoted to meeting a basic human need; where family members must spend many hours a day in just fetching water for use in the home this can have impacts on school attendance and the ability of women, in particular, to engage in income-generating activities. Where such supplies are of dubious quality or are unsustainable, the issues only multiply.
Furthermore, those businesses/industries and institutions such as schools and healthcare facilities located outside water articulation networks struggle to operate effectively if they do not have a guaranteed drinking water supply or a safe way to dispose of their wastewater.
The Harambee Prosperity Plan sets out a number of large-scale activities designed to bring safe drinking water to 100 per cent the Namibian people by 2020 while at the same time monitoring the effectiveness of water management measures and enhancing water security. But as the recent drought years have shown us, there also needs to be a change in mind-set so that domestic and industrial water use becomes wise, rather than wasteful, and reflects the scarcity of this resource in an arid country such as ours.
The development of new technologies has seen the introduction of high-quality wastewater treatment and sanitation products into the Namibian market over the past few years. ECO Smart Water Technologies Namibia CC is a 100 per cent Namibian-owned Company that has introduced efficient, affordable and innovative wastewater treatment and sanitation solutions to Namibians, often in resource-poor environments.
The company provides products that meet the particular demands of both public and private sector clients and that comprise the following:
Aerobic wastewater treatment systems;
Sanitation systems that use recycled water; and
Greywater filtration and recycling systems.
ECO Smart’s manufacturing facilities are located in Brakwater, Windhoek, from where the company designs, manufactures, installs, commissions, and maintains greywater filtration and recycling systems, aerobic wastewater treatment systems, and recycled-water sanitation technologies for domestic and larger-scale applications nationwide.
Since its inception approximately 10 years ago, the company has been involved in wastewater treatment installations at educational, military and government facilities across Namibia, as well as sanitation systems at clinics, schools and community centres. We are also active in providing flushing sanitation systems to communities in informal areas. To date we have completed a number of domestic wastewater treatment projects ranging in capacity from 5,000 litres/day up to 300,000 litres/day flow rate.
ECO Smart Water Technologies Namibia CC and the Namibian Water Supply and Sanitation Policy
At Independence, Namibia inherited a two-tiered system of infrastructural development whereby those areas predominantly occupied by non-whites - communal land/rural communities and urban informal settlements - were neglected in respect to water supply and sewerage services.
Namibia’s Water Supply and Sanitation Policy (Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, 2008) was subsequently developed to outline clear operational strategies for guaranteeing safe and affordable water supply and sanitation services and encouraging decentralised sanitation systems where appropriate. The strategy also promotes:
“….recycling through safe and hygienic recovery and use of nutrients, organics, trace elements, water and energy or the safe disposal of all human and other wastes, including sewage and industrial effluent, in an environmentally sustainable fashion.”
ECO Smart Water Technologies Namibia CC responded to this call through its range of products designed for use in those environments that have been previously underserved with respect to water articulation and wastewater treatment. Our safe and affordable sanitation solutions for informal settlements and rural communities in Namibia (described in detail below) have contributed towards the establishment of more dignified and hygienic homes, workplaces, and public institutions.