The upgrading of water points within the Etosha National Park is complete. The refurbished water points now feature solar driven pumps, storage tanks, new pipelines and fittings, as well as elephant-proof walls and troughs. The upgrade was made possible through the German government’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
While the boreholes already existed, the infrastructure surrounding them had deteriorated and they were not supplying sufficient water, especially during times of high water demand by wildlife. The upgrading work took place in less than four months and at a cost of approximately N$2.3 million. The present amount of water provided by the different water points varies with demand but ranges at a maximum of 56 cubic metres per day. Every water point is equipped with storage facilities.
Boas Erckie, deputy director in the environment ministry and the German Ambassador to Namibia Onno Hückmann inaugurated the water points last Friday. The water points are in the western parts of Etosha and bordering conservancies. “This upgrade comprises of the installation of solar panels, solar driven pumps, storage tanks, new pipelines and fittings and the construction of elephant-proof walls and troughs,” the German embassy said in a statement.
|Fast facts about Etosha National Park water points:|
|New features at water points||Solar driven pumps, storage tanks, new pipelines and fittings, as well as elephant proof walls and troughs|
|Upgrade time||Took 4 months|
|Cost of upgrade||N$ 2.3 million|
|Amount of water||Maximum of 56 cubic metres per day|
The water points are constructed in a way that the scenery is kept as natural as possible. “Thanks to the upgrade, the wildlife has enough water to drink, even throughout the dry season. The upgrade not only benefits the wildlife, but also the tourists who visit the water points for game viewing appreciate the new water sources. This enhances the attractiveness of the park, increases income from tourism and preserves Etosha’s biodiversity,” the statement said.
About Etosha National Park
In the vast arid space of Northern Namibia lies one of Southern Africa’s best loved wildlife sanctuaries. Etosha National Park offers excellent game viewing in one of Africa’s most accessible venues. Zebra and springbok are scattered across the endless horizon, while the many waterholes attract endangered black rhinoceros, lion, elephant and large numbers of antelope.
Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, is encloses a huge, flat calcrete depression (or pan) of about 5 000km². The ‘Pan’ provides a great, parched, silver-white backdrop of shimmering mirages to an area of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. The pan itself contains water only after very good rains and sometimes for only a few days each year, but is enough to stimulate the growth of a blue-green algae which lures thousands of flamingos.
Why you should visit Etosha National Park:
- Etosha is a 22 750km² wildlife sanctuary in Namibia – one of Africa’s most stable and accessible countries
- Great game viewing at the waterholes, especially during the dry season (June to November)
- Great chances of seeing the endangered black rhinoceros
- The 5 000km² salt pan, which attracts thousands of flamingos after heavy rains
- Floodlit waterholes for night-time game viewing
Date: 9 July 2013