In Namibia, the city of Windhoek gives drink to its recycled wastewater

Caught between two deserts, Namibia is one of the driest countries in Africa. As early as 1968, its capital, Windhoek, faced water shortages and a population explosion. The climate is so hot that up to 80% of the water present in the natural environment (rivers, rivers, lakes, dams) can evaporate.

In 1968, the country therefore took the gamble of developing a direct recycling system, which does away with the step of returning water to the natural environment. This is the Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) technology, of which only three factories exist in the world. In the 1990s, the factory was deemed too small for the city’s needs. In 2002, a new, larger treatment station was added to it, financed by the French company Veolia, the Australian-Indian company Wabag and the city of Berlin. Today, the site provides a quarter of drinking water consumption.

Visit to Windhoek of the Wingoc factory to discover this water “Of better quality than that from a conventional wastewater treatment plant”, according to its director, Thomas Honer. A report produced as part of a partnership with the Veolia Institute and a conference cycle on the African city of tomorrow.

To go further, watch our program dedicated to the circular economy in Africa.

The World Africa and The World Cities organize, Thursday, December 9, 2021 in the auditorium of World in Paris, a conference on African urbanization and its social, economic, environmental and political issues. Access is free, on-line registration here.

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