Submitted by Helvi Ileka and Joseph Shigwedha
Published 4 months ago
Aussenkehr, a settlement in the far southern region of Namibia about 50 km northwest of the Noordoewer border post to South Africa, is one of the hottest and driest places in the country. Roughly 12 000 to 15 000 permanent and seasonal workers live in the vicinity of the settlement of which most work at the nearby grape farms. The majority of people stay in traditional huts which do not have a water and electricity connection.
Orange River Vineyard Investments (Pty) Ltd (ORVI) is the first farm to have developed a housing project to accommodate some of its employees as well as interested members. It comprises 58 houses made of precast concrete bricks, with pitched roofs and ceilings, all built during 2020. They have been provided with potable water and an electricity connection. At the moment, 35 houses are occupied, while 23 remain vacant.
In September 2021, all the houses were provided with a hot water supply by installing thermosiphon solar water heaters suppled by Solsquare Energy (Pty) Ltd, with 50% co-funding from SOLTRAIN. Namibia Energy Institute's Helvi Ileka, the key contact of the SOLTRAIN project in Namibia, conducted a successful quality assessment of the 58 systems in early February 2022. She was accompanied by interns who are currently hosted at the Institute.