Desert Dragon’s agricultural potential still on ice

Neckartal, nicknamed the Desert Dragon is a curved gravity dam in the famous Fish River of southern Namibia. With three times more capacity that the Hardap Dam, Neckartal is the largest dam in Namibia. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Desert Dragon’s agricultural potential still on ice

WhyAfrica took an off-road detour yesterday to visit the Neckartal Dam, in the IIKaras Region close to the town of Keetmanshoop in Namibia.

Neckartal, nicknamed the Desert Dragon is a curved gravity dam in the famous Fish River of southern Namibia. With three times more capacity that the Hardap Dam, Neckartal is the largest dam in Namibia.

The dam was completed in 2018 and was built to support a 5000 hectares irrigation scheme nearby but due to the government not being able to secure the land necessary for this scheme, it has not been commissioned yet. Nearby Keetmanshoop gets its drinking water from the Naute Dam in the Löwen River. After Neckartal and Hardhap, Naute Dam is the third largest dam in Namibia.

Italian company Salini Impregilo was awarded the 2.8 billion Namibian Dollar tender to build the dam in August 2013. The project was delayed by a court case and labour unrest but overflowed for the first time on January 19, 2021. The structure, across the Fish River, has a crest length of 520m and a height of 80m, capable of storing 850Mm³ of water. Over 1 Mm³ of Reinforced Cement Concrete was needed to complete the dam wall.

Consulting engineers Knight Piésold was tasked with designing the irrigation scheme. Once the scheme gets underway, the dam water would irrigate agriculturally developed land, aligned to the government’s “Green Scheme Policy,” approximately 21 km away.

From a downstream abstraction weir, pumped water is piped to a reservoir above the irrigation area, then gravity fed to farms. Controlled release of the dam water to the weir fills the reservoir and, simultaneously, generates hydropower.

In the initial phases of the project, Knight Piésold researched old feasibility studies and then conducted additional ones to determine whether a governmental irrigation scheme would be possible in the very dry //Kharas Region in the southern part of Namibia. Once the Ministry of Water, Agriculture and Forestry approved the preliminary report, Knight Piésold was tasked with designing the full scheme.

Sub-consultants were contracted to assist with the appropriation of land, agricultural designs, mechanical equipment designs and inspections, electrical designs and inspections including liaison with NamPower to provide the electricity to the scheme and hydropower designs and inspections.

 

The WhyAfrica Southern Africa Overland Road Trip will take us through five countries in 44 days. During this time, we will drive more than 9700km on the good roads, the bad roads, dirt roads and tarred roads, to visit close to 30 projects in the mining, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, tourism, conservation, and development sectors.

 This trip is made possible by:

 Leon Louw is the founder and editor of WhyAfrica. He specialises in natural resources and African affairs.        

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. WhyAfrica specialises in African affairs and natural resources. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021. The company will undertake a road trip through South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana in June and July 2022. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.  

The Road trip issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine is now available in print. The magazine will be distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana during WhyAfrica’s Southern Africa Overland Road Trip, the company’s new and innovative platform. WhyAfrica has expanded its product range and now offers its readers, followers, advertisers, subscribers and partners the following:

  • Daily 24/7 online articles on WhyAfrica’s website (FREE)
  • Daily updates on WhyAfrica’s social media platforms (FREE)
  • Newsletters delivered to a handpicked audience every two weeks (FREE)
  • Two printed magazine per year distributed at large events and during our road trips across Africa featuring original, in-depth articles (FREE) with great, on-site photographs by the WhyAfrica team (FOR SALE UPON REQUEST)
  • Three digital magazines per year (FREE)
  • Live updates, video clips, articles, and podcasts during and after WhyAfrica’s annual road trips (Southern Africa in 2022, East Africa in 2023 and West Africa in 2024) (FREE)
  • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities for the annual WhyAfrica Overland Road Trips (PAID FOR)
  • A library where companies doing business in Africa can display scientific or research papers (PAID FOR)
  • A product section where companies doing business in Africa can display new offerings or services (PAID FOR)
  • Media partnerships with, and a presence at, most of the major conferences and exhibitions in the African mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, water management, ESG, environmental management, tourism, development, and conservation sectors (FREE)
  • WhyAfrica connects potential investors with new ventures in Africa and suppliers and service providers with existing companies in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • WhyAfrica assists companies in generating content focused on the wider African business community (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies doing business in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies thinking about expanding into Africa (PAID FOR)
  • In 2023 subscribers will have access to our in-depth articles about the African political economy, research, and country reports about the countries we visit on our road trips, and trends in the sectors that we cover (PAID FOR)
  • A WhyAfrica book is in the pipeline and if all goes according to plan, should be published towards the end of 2023 (PAID FOR)
  • The WhyAfrica consultancy arm assists and advises companies doing business in Africa through utilising our extensive global business network (PAID FOR)

Become part of the WhyAfrica community. Tell us your story. Expand your footprint across Africa and partner with us to make the most of your African experience.           

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

two × 5 =