The Neckartal Dam – the largest dam in the southern African country of Namibia – has officially been inaugurated.
The roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam, which was built by Salini Impregilo, is considered fundamental infrastructure that will provide water for Namibia's desert. It will irrigate 5,000 hectares of land, promoting agriculture and employment.
The dam is located 40km west of Keetmanshoop, in the Karas region, in the southern part of Namibia. The infrastructure is part of the first phase of the Neckartal Irrigation Scheme (NIS), which through irrigation will guarantee the area's agricultural development, especially for cultivating products such as lucerne, grapes and dates.
The water will be provided by the dam, subsequently flowing downhill for 13km, until it finally reaches an extraction well. The NIS water supply system will then transport it to the irrigated areas, and then to then single agricultural areas.
The dam is 78.5m high and 518m long. By using the waters from the nearby rivers, it has a storage volume of 857 million m3 of water, over a 39km2 area.
The dam was built with over 1.1 million hours of zero lost work day injuries, since July 2018, a record-breaking feat in terms of Health and Safety. In Keetmanshoop and in the nearby areas, a total of 5500 jobs were also created: 3000 workers were hired directly and 2500 indirectly. 65% of these workers came from the Karas region.
When the irrigation of the nearby areas will have reached its peak potential, an additional 4000 jobs will be created (directly and indirectly). The dam, besides contributing to producing food for the region's farming, will also have a positive impact on tourism and the economy in general of Keetmanshoop and nearby areas.