Baynes Hydro Power project stakeholder’s conference underway in Swakopmund

Rodney Pienaar
The Baynes Hydro Power project stakeholder’s conference is currently underway at Swakopmund for necessary engagements with stakeholders of the project.

The two day conference is attended by delegation from Angola and Spain.

In a statement delivered on his behalf by Theodor kazombiaze (the Control Administrative officer in the office of the governor), Kunene governor Marius Sheya, said that the project will not only benefit Angola and Namibia, but it is also expected to contribute to the energy security of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). "At this conference, we will hear from the project team and their consultants as how environmental risks will be mitigated. I understand that additional stakeholder public meetings will be held during the course of next year, to bring on board all those who would like to contribute in the discussions as how best this bi-national project can be implemented with minimal disruptions particularly to the livelihood of those that live within close proximity of the project area where the hydro dam will be built. Those that have ulterior motives of blocking the development of this bi- national project, should come forth and present their issues as why they think the hydro dam should not be built.”

Sheya emphasised that a project of this magnitude has the potential to significantly stimulate economic growth, particularly in the area of trade and tourism between the two countries. "It can improve tourism and open up opportunities of visitors exploring the under explored Skeleton and Iona Transfinite Parks through the envisaged port-to-port corridor. The local economy will benefit from the provision of goods and services."

The executive director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said that government will continue to engage from time to time as the project evolves from one phase to the next. “At regional and international front, I have been informed that the Southern African Power Pool, the African Development Bank, African Legal Support Facility and the Swedish Fund are playing a significant role in supporting the project through the provision of technical advisory support and grant funding for some of the feasibility studies currently being undertaken. This demonstrate the keen interest from international institutions and that this bi-national project is indeed worth supporting,”