A non-governmental organisation has proposed alternative sources of power and water that could be developed instead of the controversial Epupa hydroelectric scheme and the Okavango water pipeline, reported The Namibian recently.

In an open letter to the Namibian government, Earthlife Africa's Namibian branch states that a package of alternatives would cut the cost of the existing schemes by as much as us $207 million. "We believe that the time has come to inspect all four projects together: Epupa, Kudu (a large natural gas field currently under development) and the Okavango water pipeline,' the letter states. "In our view, there is a simple, cheaper and an environmentally-friendly way to integrate both power generation and provision of water that would make both these projects redundant,' the letter continues.

The Earthlife proposal points out that the numerous shortcomings of these projects and proposes a package of desalination and natural gas projects. Earthlife says that though Epupa dam could make Namibia self-sufficient when it comes to power generation, it will fall short in periods of extended drought. And the Okavango pipeline, Earthlife says, would disrupt the ecology of the Okavango Delta and set a precedent for future increased water abstraction from the river.

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