Areva Water Plant Should Be Free (Editorial)

OMAKE to President Hage Geingob for applying the brakes in order to review building plans for a new parliamentary edifice as well as the construction of the “food bank”.

The President’s decision should be applauded, if only because it is responsive to the public outcry against the motivation, priority and execution of the projects. We hope he would go even further and make a U-turn on the plans as they are on the table.

But there is another priority, which, if not well handled, could also cost Namibia an unnecessarily high price – the current water crisis and uranium mining firm Areva’s plant that turns sea water into fresh water through a process called desalination. It may well become another ‘knock storie’ – not dissimilar to the Kora music awards scheme – to hit the Namibian taxpayer.

The Namibian government has in principle decided to buy the Areva desalination plant for US$200 million, if not more.