29 October 2007 – The controversial Baynes hydropower project on the Kunene River seems likely to go ahead it has been reported from Namibia.
Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba urged the Angolan and Namibian technical commission to set the parameters for the environmental assessment.
"Our region is facing a power deficit that has the potential to disrupt economic activities and the livelihoods of our people," he said at the opening of a meeting with Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, in Windhoek last week.
"The Angolan-Namibian Joint Technical Commission should be encouraged to finalise the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) with the view to construct the Baynes hydropower project as soon as possible," Pohamba said.
"This will help us to cushion the impact of power shortage in our region."
The project, which was originally scheduled for construction 60kms east of the Baynes Mountains at the Epupa falls, has been plagued by environmental concerns.
The dam would have covered the whole valley at Epupa, along with 5 000 palm trees, as well as the waterfalls.
Discussions in 2002 moved the project further west, where the environmental impact is assumed to be less.