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VOL 3/NO.04 • FEBRUARY 2018

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Rachel Shafuda-Andreas: An Engineering name for the future

Hydrosearch Sustaining life in arid Namibia Martha UpindiNdemumana. Diary of a ‘Struggle Kid’ Engineer

Wastewater treatment as a water scarcity remedy for Africa

Defying Caribbean hurricanes, taming global economic storms and now face to face with a woman’s new love, iPhone X, here’s how Almod Namibia is making the Namibian diamond tick Helena Uugwanga: Suited to Project Leadership

Why Namibians are beginning to wake up to field of project The the Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018 • management...


The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018



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Rachel ShafudaAndreas: An Engineering name for the future

Helena Uugwanga: Suited to Project Leadership. She Joined the Emcon Consulting Group in July 2017. Since joining the firm, she has been working as an assistant project manager on the Onderkaremba Lodge and Sonop Lodge for the Zannier Lodges and Hotels, as well as the Khorixas Business Centre as a project manager.

Female engineers have a hard time on site because it’s mainly a complete “boy’s club” culture on site with the wages staff. The wages staff tend to be uneducated laborers who have “traditional” views on gender roles and the construction site is where men do manly things.

Nakathilo Commercial and Logistics Plaza: Introduction: Nakathilo Commercial and Logistics Plaza is a regional significant project being facilitated by Trans-Kalahari Logistics. Diary of a ‘Struggle Kid’ Engineer: In Namibia, no one is looking at you, being a struggle kid and seeing the next CEO, a lawyer or doctor, especially if you are a girl for that matter. But not for Martha UpindiNdemumana. The importance of land surveying in Namibia: Land surveying is the measurement and mapping of our surrounding environment using mathematics, specialized technology and equipment.

Who Really Owns Namibian Mines?:


Tulinavo: An assurance of repute: Founded in 2013 by Dankie Munenguni, Tulinavo Investment Group (TIG) is a diverfsied group of companies with business interest in the arena of property development, construction, ,Waste management and investment consultancy services, just to mention a few.

Land Surveying from Marwa’s lenses: G. Marwa Land Surveyors have in a short space of time become a professional land surveying firm serving the Namibian people and its landscapes


Almod in the thick of things Reuven Paikin, Almod Diamonds Namibia General Director discusses how Almod has created an edge in the Caribbean over other world giants



Estimating and extending electric cable life

Use of Electric cables is of paramount importance to any Country’s building exercise. Africa has experienced its share of growth in the electric cable industry.

Fortune Publications

Oshili24 • Municipal Pillars • Us Namibia • The Engineer The Newseum of Namibia

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Marketing Etty-Doria Kilembe Executive Editor Confidence Musariri 081 122 6850

Tel: +264 (0) 61 254 005 / +264 (0) 81 122 6850

GM: Marketing Kenneth Karamata

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The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

Production Manager & Graphic Designer Keith M. Tuwelo

Cover opportunity

Distribution 081 703 9499




Groundwater - Sustaining life in arid Namibia: Large expanses of Namibia have no surface water sources and an estimated 80% of the surface area of the country depends entirely on groundwater.

Large expanses of Namibia have no surface water sources and an estimated 80% of the surface area of the country depends entirely on groundwater. The occurrence, sustainability and protection of this underground resource is challenging as there are no direct ways to “observe” groundwater. The science of hydrogeology applies geology, physics, and chemistry to understand the occurrence and flow of groundwater, and to manage and protect the resources. The hydrological cycle begins with evaporation from oceans and continents followed by condensation and precipitation. In the desert environment such as in Namibia, precipitation is highly variable being dependent on complex climatological factors. The amount of water that infiltrates depends on many aspects including the nature of soil or exposed rock, ground slope, drainage, and vegetation cover. Water is mainly lost through runoff, evaporation and transpiration. Evaporation and transpiration returns water to the atmosphere. Transpiration occurs when vegetation takes up water through their roots that is released to the atmosphere through the leaves. The amount of rain infiltrating deep to form groundwater could be as little as 1% or less of the total rainfall. Rainfall has to exceed losses that limit its downward flow (a threshold value) before infiltration occurs. This condition is met only in a few years in a decade or decades depending on the location. The nature of recharge in Namibia is therefore episodic rather than annual as in humid regular rainfall areas. On average, recharge is progressively lower towards the west and south of the country as mean rainfall is less.

Groundwater in Namibia The availability of groundwater and its long term sustainable use depends largely on the rate of groundwater replenishment or recharge rates. Groundwater originates from


rain, a small part of which infiltrates deep underground into aquifers (a body of porous rock that can store and transmit water, Groundwater is therefore part of the water or hydrological cycle.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

Groundwater, like surface water, flows downstream (from higher to lower elevation and pressure heads), from recharge areas to discharge areas which could be local or regional in scale. In a regional scale, groundwater discharge is either to the sea or to inland depressions like the Okavango swamps or Etosha Pan. The water from the inland discharge areas mostly evaporates. Groundwater flows slowly, a rule of thumbs says that in unconsolidated

By Jürgen Kirchner & Diganta Sarma


Groundwater - Sustaining life in arid Namibia


sands and gravel, velocity is in the order of meter per day while in hard rock it may be in the order of meter per annum. Using radiocarbon dating techniques of dissolved carbon dioxide in groundwater it was estimated that it takes 20 000 years for groundwater in the Windhoek aquifer to travel from the Auas Mountains to the centre of Windhoek City. Deep circulation while flowing underground along the Pahl fault to depths of two to three kilometres causes the water to heat up to 80°C. In nature two types of aquifers exist: porous rock aquifers where the water is stored and moves in pore spaces between grains (such as in sand or sandstone); or fractured rock aquifers where water flows along a system of fractures or faults in an otherwise impermeable rock such as granite. Solution cavities along fractures and joints in limestone or dolomite are considered another type of fractured rock aquifer called karst. The Hydrogeological Map of Namibia (van Wyk, Strub et al. 2001) indicates fractured aquifers in brown shades (higher potential in lighter brown) and porous aquifers in blue shades (high potential in darker blue). Groundwater storage properties of porous rocks are much superior and therefore better aquifers while the large areas under fractured rock aquifers have variable groundwater occurrence and sustainability.

Water quality With long residence time groundwater quality changes with dissolution of minerals in the rocks, ion exchange with aquifer material and concentration of salts through evapotranspiration. Highly mineralised groundwater is encountered close to discharge areas, for example close to the Etosha Pan. In addition, pollution from natural or manmade contaminants can drastically alter groundwater chemistry such as high nitrate concentrations in boreholes close to kraals that have been dissolved from farm animal waste by infiltrating water. The Water Quality Map (Huyser 1982) shows the total dissolved solids distribution in Namibia from low (yellow) to high (purple). Water with high total dissolved solids or salinity and contaminants is unsuitable for consumption.

Managing groundwater resources Groundwater potential is evaluated from data collected during drilling and pump testing of boreholes that helps to define the extent of the aquifer and its water transmitting and storage properties. Borehole siting or locating favourable drilling sites is only an initial part of the groundwater investigation. For larger water supply schemes the data from several boreholes in the aquifer is incorporated into a conceptual model and substantiated with information collected during production pumping (e.g. water level, abstraction and water quality). With enough data, computer based numerical flow models are constructed that help to manage aquifers and optimise water abstraction. Isolated small scale supply boreholes such as in a farm have little information other than that collected during drilling and pumping of the borehole itself. But, provision for collection of drilling and testing data exists mainly through submission of such data to databases maintained at the Geohydrology Division at the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and aids groundwater exploration and management. Unfortunately, not all data from drilling programs in the country are submitted to the Division. Understanding of groundwater resource potential in Namibia requires continued research as demand on groundwater

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

resources grows. Inadequate management results in overexploitation and pollution of aquifers as general level of understanding of groundwater systems is low. Depending largely on the replenishment rate, shape and the permeability of aquifers in arid regions the quantity that can be abstracted is much smaller – often less than 10% of the stored volume. Impact of pumping on the environment (e.g. water bodies and dependent vegetation) has to be taken into consideration. The country is dependent on groundwater for supply of potable water at low cost, particularly in the rural areas. The groundwater resources belong to the nation and it is in everybody’s interest to protect it and utilise it sustainably.

References Huyser, D. J. (1982). Water quality map 1 : 1 000 000 (TDS, SO4, F, NO3). Pretoria, National Institute for Water Research/ Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Mendelsohn, J.M., Jarvis, A.M., Roberts, C.S. & Robertson, T. (2002). Atlas of Namibia van Wyk, A., H. Strub, et al. (2001). Hydrogeological Map of Namibia 1 : 1 000 000. Windhoek, BGR, DWA, GSN, NamWater.



That was in 2010. She had just returned to Namibia as a structural engineer from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa). The seven years that followed saw Helena’s graph in civil and structural engineering ascend, working on some of the country’s top engineering projects.

Helena Uugwanga: Suited to Project Leadership

“It’s really nothing amazing among engineers, maybe to clients looking in its surprising to hear that this girl, not even lady, is the project manager.”

Key skills • Project Management • Construction Site Supervision • Structural Design • Contract Management

From her 2010 days at Conenpro Consulting Engineers under the tutelage of Mbingee Watson Hindjou, there was no time for teething as her first big project was within her first year when she had to work from the inception to the close-out stage of Cimbebasia Primary School Project.

“I learnt the most on this project, as the challenges were across the board. From the foundations to the classroom slabs. Finding solutions for these challenges helped me grow both as a person and as an engineer. But registering with the Engineering Council (ECN) is one of the highlights in my career. The journey was not easy, but worth it.” The first of two girls in her small-knit family, Helena recently moved to the high-flying consultancy firm, Emcon Consulting Group, in the Project Management department under the leadership of Pewer Fourie & Colin Steytler. Adds Helena, “One thing I have learned since my arrival at Emcon last July is that If your co-workers and management acts like a project manager is not a gender-specific role then everyone else falls in line. I have never felt a pushback; the management is never ambivalent. I have not felt like I need to be loud or rough to be heard. When you work with professionals it’s not an issue.


t’s early morning in the almost forgotten town of Aranos. A Toyota SUV pulls in the parking lot of what should be a government building in southern Namibia.

Whenever the ‘daughter’ attempts to cut in the discussion which was also attended by senior political leaders of this seemingly forgotten town, she is silenced by senior figures in this meeting. No sooner had the meeting ended then this ‘daughter’ took over at the site visit. At the site the ‘daughter’ took charge of the deliberations with finesse and began to engage everyone leaving them in awe.


“All along I didn’t know you are part of the team. I thought you were just this man’s daughter or some intern,” said one of the consultants, pointing to Helena Uugwanga and her boss, as they walked back from the site to the vehicle.

In all of the discussions that ensue, one of the consultants assumes the girl in the room is either

“I was only 24 then. Occasionally I come up against someone who thinks I am not the decision maker and think they can go around me. Doesn’t take long before they learn I am here for a reason. This part is key,” says the Oniipa-born Engineering hotshot.

s the passengers alight, they are welcomed by a senior government official to Aranos who ushers them quickly into what looks like a boardroom. The purpose of this visit is for a top engineering firm to assess a Department of Works project, begins the quantity surveyor (QS), who is also the host to this meeting.


an intern or a daughter accompanying her father to the meeting.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

All new people are suspect, once you prove you are competent, those who want to get work done just move on. So it’s really nothing amazing among engineers, maybe to clients looking in its surprising to hear that this girl, not even lady, is the project manager.” It’s less than a year since she moved into full-time project management and she already has her hands full. She is leading the new and only mall for Khorixas, currently in the planning stage. She is also assisting on two other lodges envisaged around Namibia, one being Ondekaramba, east of the capital and Sonop in the South for Zannier Properties. She is now among the few crop of women in Namibia who have elevated their roles as Project Management Leaders and are positively influencing the field. Her ambition is to advocate for the advancement of project management across private and public-sector organizations.


“Only now Namibians are beginning to wake up to the field of project management, but still the numbers are few. I could name the project managers that are accredited in Namibia, even in my sleep. There is still a lot to learn, I for one, am inspired by the need for more project managers that advocate for skyscrapers.“ “Even for Windhoek to have the highest building which has about 14 floors is not good for infrastructural development. Perhaps there is a need for architects to have the desire to work with project managers who realise dreams. I like the way the construction around The Hilton is taking shape. Small space, high-rise buildings in a maze. That’s some amazing projects right there.” A prolific basketball player who was part of Namibia’s first ever national basketball team, Helena is now positive on building a career in project management with Emcon, considering the company’s focus on green, recycling and the entire environment. Besides, Emcon is one of the few multi-disciplinary firms in Namibia with close to seven focal areas, which includes mining and power-planning, a rarity in the field currently. Bringing together engineers, planners, scientists, policy experts and GIS specialists, and supported by regional and international associates, the Emcon Group endeavors to contribute to development through innovative approaches that consider local realities and economic circumstances, using technological solutions in innovative ways. Emcon has been delivering lasting innovative solutions since 1992 and has developed significant skill in the Namibian market, with a number of firsts: First 6-star rated existing building in Africa, first rural electrification projects with the first implementation of prepayment metering; assisting with developing the restructuring of the electricity supply industry in Namibia post-independence; first large-scale grid-connected wind turbine implementation; together with the application of energy efficiency

and renewable energy to the built environment, culminating in developing skill in Green Building design. More recently Emcon extended their capability through their franchise model by adding engineering expertise in the minerals processing, mining, water and infrastructure sectors. As a project manager, Helena has now made it her mission to deliver quality, already she has begun a crusade on the government to stop being lenient on infrastructure spending.

Street, Klein Windhoek, Namibia

Helena obtained her National Diploma in Civil Engineering in 2007, she continued her studies and further obtained a Bachelor of Technology degree in Project Management in 2009 and Bachelor of Technology degree in Structural Engineering in 2010 from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Whilst taking up her studies, she did her 12 months internship at Aurecon and she also worked for Seelenbinder Consulting Engineers as a civil engineering technician during her holidays.

She spent the last 3 years managing the civil/ structural department in the firm as a senior engineer and she was also the overall project manager for all the structural projects. Her role was to administer the resources in the office, set

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018


up a working schedule for the office, ensure that the different project teams meet the client’s needs.

Summary profile

She then joined the construction industry as a Civil/Structural Engineer and Project Manager for Conenpro Consulting Engineers in 2010. She worked on various structural projects and civil projects both for the private and public sector. She was responsible for the overall analysis and civil/structural design, as well as supervision of these construction projects. She had to compile documentation for these projects and ensure the co-ordination of engineering services and project management was done.

EMCON Head Offices in Windhoek: 4 Bassingthwaighte

“And quality doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome is good or great or awesome based on everyone else’s opinion. It means the project result was fitting the organization, it satisfied the customer expectations and it was flexible enough to support any upcoming changes,” she

Helena Joined the Emcon Consulting Group in July 2017. Since joining the firm, she has been working as an assistant project manager on the Onderkaremba Lodge and Sonop Lodge for the Zannier Lodges and Hotels, as well as the Khorixas Business Centre as a project manager.

Educational qualifications • Bachelor of Technology (Project Management), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa • Bachelor of Technology (Structural Engineering), CPUT • National Diploma (Civil Engineering), CPUT • Registered as an Incorporated Engineer with the Engineering Council of Namibia

General professional experience • 2017 to date: EMCON Consulting Group, Assistant Project Manager, Namibia • 2010 - 2017: Conenpro Consulting Engineers, Civil/Structural Engineer and Project Manager • 2009 - 2009: Seelenbinder Consulting Engineers, Civil Engineering Technician, Namibia • 2006 - 2006: Aurecon Namibia, Civil Engineering Technician, Namibia



Rachel ShafudaAndreas: An

Engineering name for the future Female engineers have a hard time on site because it’s mainly a complete “boy’s club” culture on site with the wages staff. The wages staff tend to be uneducated laborers who have “traditional” views on gender roles and the construction site is where men do manly things.


emale engineers are usually unable to make strong friendship bonds with the foremen and labourers who are doing the work on site. When a male engineer asks the foreman for a favour, it might get done faster because they went out to the bar last night or alternatively went out chasing girls on Saturday night and have a “male bond”. The females do not have such advantages. The relationships that boys and men are able to form on the construction site means that a male engineer will be able to get their work done (because the foremen will work extra hard for a friend) faster than the female engineers. The male engineers will be seen as being more competent, and be promoted faster. The female engineers are left behind and either quit or hit the glass ceiling.

But not for Rachel Shafuda-Andreas (B.Sc Civil). Meet Windhoek Consulting Engineers (WCE)’s finest. She is currently the assistant engineer for the Nakathilo Plaza in Ondangwa, one of Northern Namibia’s biggest projects. She is not hindered by stereotypes and or ‘boys clubs,’ as she solidifies her role in Nakathilo Plaza. She has only worked for WCE and in those two


“For anyone who is thinking about joining an engineering environment, I would say go for it! Absolutely do not be put off and do not think that there is anything that you can’t do!”

years, she has defied culture and stereotypes, having been exposed to various projects within the civil engineering fields, such as water, sewer, roads and storm water. And Nakathilo is her biggest thus far.

About Nakathilo Plaza: This is a Commercial and Logistics Plaza facilitated by Trans-Kalahari Logistics. It is a multitenant business park in the town of Ondangwa that will consist of 5 000-tonnes combined cold storage facility, a commercial center as well as large warehouses/show rooms. This project is expected to create up to 120 jobs during the construction phase and 100 jobs when fully operational. Although she is an assistant engineer on the project, during construction Rachel will be the site supervision Engineer. “The challenge is; we are always working on tight schedules, which adds a lot of pressure to the job. We need to consistently produce high-quality work at a fast pace, which is a big challenge, but that is what keeps our clients coming back to us. However, by working together as a team we get a lot more done than we would working separately, so teamwork is a priority in our company. Of course, sometimes human error cannot be helped but you learn from your mistakes,” she says.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

This N$260 million multi-tenant business park for logistics operations, commercial services and a 5 000-tonne combined cold storage facility will certainly stimulate the economy and job creation in Ondangwa.

Says Jospeh Mundjele, Managing Director of Trans-Kalahari Logistics,

“With the growth of the Namibian economy moving at a rapid pace, the town of Ondangwa is strategically positioned in terms of access to critical trade routes in the north of the country that also leads to neighbouring Angola.” “With three major highways intersecting in Ondangwa, this has raised interest for vital transport developments like cold storage and logistics hubs.” He noted that Trans-Kalahari Logistics has already assessed demand and supply for industrial and commercial land in northern Namibia, which has recommended that more infrastructure is required to enable commercial and industrial growth. “Following the extensive assessment process, Extension 18 in Ondangwa has been identified as ideal because of its highway access, topography, and strategic location in regards to national freight routes. The company has since acquired a piece of land from the Ondangwa Town Council measuring 20 000 square meters (two hectares) for the sole purpose of developing a commercial and logistics plaza,” Mundjele stated.

Upon receiving the environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the installation of access roads, sanitary sewer lines as well as storm water accommodation will set the tone for the whole project, as the area for this development is still undeveloped.

in senior positions are my main frustrations. The nation, especially men, needs to be educated and made to realize that women are as able as men at a lot of things even in this field.... ...Platforms such as this one (The Engineer magazine) are great for inspiring the upcoming young women who intend to pursue a career in engineering. The responsibility equally lies with us as women to believe in ourselves and lift ourselves to greater heights.”

Projects Undertaken:

So who is Rachel Shafuda-Andreas?

• One of the projects she has worked on is for Trustco Group; the construction of services at Extension 11 in Ondangwa. This project included the construction of surfaced roads, storm-water infrastructures, rehabilitation of existing surfaced roads, concrete and interlocked intersections, water reticulation, sewer reticulation and electrical distribution networks for Ondangwa Extension 11, which comprises of a total of 81 erven.

am a young dynamic, and conscientious individual with a BSc (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Namibia (UNAM) obtained in 2015. After graduation I got employed by Windhoek Consulting Engineers (WCE), which I’m serving to date as an Engineer in Training. I have gained skills and knowledge in Project Management, Contract Administration, Quality Assurance, Design and Draughting and Interpersonal Communication respectively.

• She also worked on the Oshana Regional Council; Upgrading of gravel roads to bitumen standard in Uukwangula settlement. The project entails the upgrading of some of the existing gravel roads in Uukwangula Settlement to 19mm Cape Seal, double slurry surfaced roads, the construction of kerbing, paving, road signs, road markings, stone pitching, concrete stormwater channels and access slabs. This besides designs of some other projects also.

“I’m very passionate about water engineering and would like to major in Water Engineering for my Master’s degree which I applied for at UNAM. I lost my mother at the age of 4, so I grew up under the care of my father and of my elder siblings. I’m a wife and have a family to take care of, which is the pillar to my success and it is my number one priority.”

She adds, “Our country needs to continue focusing on developing roads, water facilities, improve electrical generation and distribution and many more. These are some of the key ingredients to drive good business in the country and hence improve the living standards of every Namibian.

Weighs in Rachel, “A project manager carries

the risk of accountability. They are the accounting officers of any project. As a project manager, I must answer to the client at any time. Also, should anything go wrong, the project manager is the first person to be held responsible.”


Growing up, Rachel knew nothing about engineering and personally knew no engineers. All she ever loved was solving problems with practical solutions. And fortune favours the bold. She was fortunate to complete her high school in Ongwediva where the Unam Engineering Campus was being constructed at that time.

Government needs to plan more holistically, have integrated master plans to work with and also engage the private sector through Public Private Partnerships in order to accelerate such development.” In ten years she intends to position herself as one

“The major challenge we have in the north is flooding. Most of the towns in the north are in flood prone areas. So, one has always to incorporate flood mitigation measures in all the designs. Another challenge is the scarcity of good quality construction materials for example base course materials always has to be sourced commercially in the north. Because the North is relatively flat, there is also lack of construction water except during rainy season when the natural Oshanas get filled with rain water which is also a challenge. These Oshanas cannot be relied on for the whole year as they get dried up after rainy season.”

Message to Girls: For anyone who is thinking about joining an engineering environment, I would say go for it! Absolutely do not be put off and do not think that there is anything that you can’t do! If it’s something you are passionate about and you believe you can do it, go for it. So many times, I have said to myself, ‘Is this something I can do? I don’t know, just try!’ And every time I try, I realize that anything can be done. It’s a matter of time, effort, commitment and attitude.

Inspiration: I look to a lot of different people to inspire and motivate me in different areas. I have colleagues with amazing technical knowledge who are always willing to share their expertise, especially our office Manager Mr. Jannie Swiegers. “However, I think that is one of the difficulties for women in engineering, there are not enough women in senior posts to provide mentorship for women. There are specific challenges you face as a woman in engineering and having a person who can relate to the challenges and help guide you through them is very important.” As with Rachel, women in engineering bring perspectives from experience that adds sensitivity to detail that enriches their work and empathy for end users.

About WCE

She recalls, “We would always go visit the construction site of the engineering campus and that is where my passion for engineering started. Because I always had a good handle on mathematics and physics, when I told one of my brothers about my passion for engineering, he strongly believed that I could do it and helped me chose Civil as an Engineering discipline, a choice I will never regret.”

WCE is a multidisciplinary engineering firm (offering consulting services in civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and water). Established in 1977, WCE is the oldest engineering consulting firm in Namibia, and celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, 2017. WCE employs over 50 people, ranging from professional engineers to engineers in training, administrators and general workers.

She sees a future for Namibian girls in engineering, considering that today, there are more girls in Namibian schools than a decade ago. But there is a need for a shift to technical courses for girls.

That also makes it probably the biggest engineering firm in the whole of Namibia. With such professional experience and big team, there is enough room at WCE to learn and capacitate oneself with good engineering experience and exposure.

“Wrong traditional beliefs and customs, that the industry is male dominated and lack of women

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

of Namibia’s leading civil engineers, particularly in Northern part of Namibia.


The development of the business park is anticipated to run for a period of 24 months from date of ground-breaking to the grand opening. The preliminaries of the project are already underway, which include, among others, the rezoning of the area as well as the Environmental Impact Assessment study.



Nakathilo Commercial and Logistics Plaza

Introduction: Nakathilo Commercial and Logistics Plaza is a

regional significant project being facilitated by Trans-Kalahari Logistics. The main purpose of this proposal is to register TransKalahari Logistics’ intension to introduce this economical significant initiative to industry and offer opportunities to potential tenants to register their intent to occupy trading locations which are strategically located on some of the busiest highway networks in Namibia. The total size of land for this development is 20 000.00m2. Project Promoter A multi-discipline Logistical services company based in Erongo region. TransKalahari Logistics specializes in logistics and transportation services especially cross-border transportation. The company was established back in 2009 as a long distance transportation company which later diversified its portfolio into bulk excavations, plant and tool hire as well as transport infrastructure development.


the north of the country that also leads to neighboring Angola. With three major highways intersecting in Ondangwa, this has raised interests for vital developments like Cold Storage and Logistics hubs. An assessment of demand and supply of industrial and commercial land done in 2013, recommended that more infrastructure is

required to enable commercial and industrial growth. Following an extensive assessment process, the extension 18 in Ondangwa is seen as ideal because of its highway access, topography, and strategic location on national freight routes.

The Project The actual construction will kick off with the laying of a 20,000m2 platform which will be raised and reinforced to accommodate the 13,264m2 of infrastructures as well as 6,736m2 parking and common areas. The facility will be developed in 2 phases namely phase 1 and phase 2. The phases are detailed as follows: Phase 1 Access roads, platform & installations Cold storage Commercial center Phase 1 Mega warehouses Warehouses Storage Garages

Project Background

Access road and Platform

With the growth of the Namibian economy moving at a rapid pace, the town of Ondangwa is strategically positioned in terms of access to critical trade routes in

(approximately 480m in length) which will offer direct access to the park from the Ondangwa-Oshakati main road at two

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

The access road is of bitumen standard


The platform serves the purpose of raising the site to levels above expected flood levels, ensuring proper storm water drainage and establishing stable layer works capable of carrying the buildings and the expected traffic loads.

Cold Storage (Ph1) A cold storage essentially consists of a number of refrigerated chambers which are able to chill, freeze and store any perishable products. The facility is a 5,000 tones cold storage with a maximum storage capacity of 5,000 pallets; it is a combined cold storage consists of a various chambers of different cooling zones as well as, offices, laboratory, public service area, ablutions, workshop, packaging area and packaging material storage. The cooling chambers will consist of temperature zones of amongst others: Vegetables @ 12 0C Dairy Products @ 1 0C Meat @ -2 0C Frozen products i.e. Fish, Sea food @ -12 0C

Concept Summery Land Size

20 000 m2

Development Type



Ext 18 Ondangwa

Employment Creation 120 Temp. 100 Permanent Development timeline 24 Months (2 Years) Expected completion date

February 2020

Total Project Cost


well as Doctors’ consulting rooms. 5. Storage Garages. 6. Dedicated ablutions. 7. Free adequate car parking.

Industry Support Within a radius of 700Km, there is not a single cold storage facility of industrial capacity in Northern Namibia, and this has been a challenge for the Cold and frozen goods industry including abattoirs as well as the Angolan food market.

These are earmarked for hardware dealerships and agribusinesses that need larger spaces to operate and store their inventory on site.

The absence of cold storages has had a negative impact on prices of perishable goods due to high transport costs, and a scarcity of frozen goods due to lack of storage has impacted negatively to the affordability of these goods.

There are also smaller warehouses which are slightly smaller than the mega warehouses measuring between 240m2 - 450m2 in sizes; these will be used as storage for supermarkets and other entities as distribution centers.

Industry has indicated that it’s prepared to support well developed and operated commercial parks in the north and that it is prepared to pay for these services.

Finally to complement the park as a fully functioning logistics and trading plaza, 12 garages will be constructed which will serve as mini trading stores or storage for furniture shops and other larger corporations.


different points, with both entrance and exit at either sides of the road (see locality plan attached on page 5).

Conclusion Roughly about 40% of food that is consumed in developing countries i.e. Namibia, are perishables thus the vision is to market the Cold storage facility as the predominant business activity at the centre.

The facility aims to serve the meat processing industry and different chain shop operators. Some of the main clients of the cold store also come from the perishable goods industry which includes fishing, abattoir operators, beverages as well as fruits and vegetables.

Commercial center (Ph1) A four storey building forms part of the business park as a commercial center, the center is being fitted with space for office suites as well as Space for doctors’ practices i.e. dentists and general practitioners. Also various professional service providers i.e. insurance, Consulting and law practices have been catered for in the design of the center. A commercial bank and a mini-market has been availed space on the ground floor of the 4 storey building.

Warehouses and Garages (Ph2) Two mega warehouses measuring between 660m2 and 730m2 are also part of the park which are envisaged to serve as showrooms or depots.

Locality plan Some of the main service offerings include: 1. A 5,000 tones combined cold Storage facility including a packaging area.

The master plan is to utilize the entire available space of the ground in so to create a one-stop shop facility for our clients’ customers.

2. Multiple storage and distribution warehouses. 3. Mage warehouses i.e. vehicle dealership/ retail outlet. 4. A four storey Commercial center consists of retail space, office suites, Banking facilities as

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

Email: Cell: +264 81 129 5854 | Fax: +264 886 28649



Diary of a ‘Struggle Kid’ Engineer The world doesn’t expect much from struggle kids. The private sector boss is looking to her standing by the traffic light, bowl in hand, a baby on her back, cracked heels. The government is looking at him to, if not sell kapana, then at least join the army or lay bricks on construction sites and if you are vocal enough, to lobby on behalf of their party during election periods. In Namibia, no one is looking at you, being a struggle kid and seeing the next CEO, a lawyer or doctor, especially if you are a girl for that matter. As a girl, they already know you will fall pregnant by the time you are 20 and will drop out of school and as a boy, you will become part of the reason the security industry and gated communities are blossoming.


ut not for Martha Upindi-Ndemumana. Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Martha has defied the odds against her since being separated from her parents who were deployed across the Atlantic, to fight the settler regime.

for a ‘Bachelor of Science’ programme. That same time, the then Polytechnic of Namibia letter arrived with a Civil Engineering acceptance, she opted for the latter.

Abandoned in the ‘80s in the hands of caretakers in the Swapo camp in Nyango, Zambia, Martha was to be moved to Namibia where her name was announced on radio, periodically upon her arrival in northern Namibia in 1989 until word reached her grand parents that their 9-year-old grandchild had returned and needed to be united with her family.

At completion, she joined Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa for a degree in Urban Engineering and what then followed from 2006 was a decade of dedicated service to NamPower.

She was only nine, and she had to wait until 1991 to reunite with her parents when the liberation struggle brought with independence.

She worked for 11 years at NamPower as Project Manager where she would plan, conduct feasibility researches, design, formulate and evaluate tenders as well as coordinate all project phases once the tender is awarded to ensure every facet of the project stays within the set parameters.

“I grew up in Ongwediva and studied there, but first things first, I am a struggle kid. I identify myself with the group that has been making headlines lately. The only difference is perhaps the different paths we chose,” she says. She was to relocate to Windhoek after matric when the University of Namibia accepted her


Martha Upindi-Ndemumana

“Of course, I worked on many projects with NamPower numerous and countless, but it was the Caprivi Link Interconnector Project that stands out on my resume.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

I was the only female site-based and project overseer based at Gerus substation, in Otjiwarongo where I was based for two and a half years. It was eye opening. The lessons from there saw me being tipped to be the Principal Construction Planner for Power System Construction, a section within the transmission business unit of Nampower. Working on Gerus sub-station further enhanced my practical experience on civil engineering. “

The second stage, which comprises of a 285km 400kV AC transmission line and associated substations extensions at Auas and Gerus Substations, will be implemented if and when the need arises. In April 2017, Martha left NamPower for the City of Windhoek where she is Engineer: Contact Management. Dealing with contract management is less exhausting as was project management, she notes. Here she represents the City on the quality and standards of all infrastructural and services development contracts between developer and the City. It includes roads, stormwater and services on private development projects, projects by private developers, government, or even PPP projects. Of course, the good part is that there is now less traveling. She continues, “But the roles are a bit

reversed now. We do not work directly with contractors unlike at NamPower. Here, I spend more time dealing with private developers, who often have

their own contractors, for instance. The differencein roles between contract management and project management is not diverse. Only that contract management focuses more on obligations and conditions of the contract while project management involves contract management and four other facets of engineering as a part.”

I am talking from experience. The problem is now many women hesitate to join the field because its considered a ‘boys club’. Why should I be the one to prove myself always after 10 years as an engineer, when my male counterparts do not need that?” she says.

For this mother of two, it is not so much about her background as a struggle kid that concerns her. It’s the perception towards women in the industry.

“Some developers overlook regulations, and proceed with the contract. During the development stage of a project, when asked to produce for example a traffic impact assessment report that was supposed to have been conducted prior to signing the contract and project kick-off, they are found incomplete and thus project delay. Follow rguidelines and egulations, come to our offices, we have an open-door policy for consultation.”

“If I am being more understanding, I am often considered to be too persuasive. Women are perceived to slow down performance in the industry, we are regarded as people who cannot make decisions that influence productivity. And that irks me.” “For me to be considered different in the field when I have been here this long without any thoughts of quitting, becomes an insult. Women should not be at home or doing secretarial jobs, No. We too belong here. In fact, it is men that fail to make decisions, especially finer details, they do not concentrate on the finer inputs and always need a woman’s vision.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

As for the City, her advise for stakeholders is to adhere to any City rules and regulations to avoid future bickering.


NamPower is in the process to implement the Caprivi Link Interconnector. The first stage of the project comprises of a 970km ±350kV HVDC bipolar line with converter stations and associated ac substations extensions at Zambezi and Gerus Substations.

And the future looks brighter for Martha’s diary. She has recently completed an Arbitration & Dispute Resolution Program at Unam in 2017. “I want to use that qualification in future to help people in the construction industry. I want to be part of labour disputes as an arbitrator or mediator some day. I have already broken the barrier of being a struggle kid, and being a woman, so nothing can stop me now,” she says.



Who Really Owns Namibian Mines? NAMDEB – De Beers 50% - GRN 50%. De Beers has been a family business of the South African based Oppenheimer until 2012 when Nicholas “Nicky” Oppenheimer liquidated 40% of his De-Beers shares and acquired further wealth in Anglo American. The 59 years old Nicky who inherited his De Beers shares from Ernest Oppenheimer, is said to be South Africa’s richest person with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion. NAMDEBLANGER HEINRICH-Langer Heinrich Uranium (Pty) Ltd 100%, GRN 0%. One of the biggest Uranium mines in the country, the mine is wholly owned and managed by the Langer Heinrich Uranium (Pty) Ltd which is a member of Paladin Energy Ltd group of companies. The Mine is located at the foot of the Langer Heinrich Mountain in the Namib Desert near Swakopmund.

near the town of Swakopmund in the Erongo region. The mine is located approximately 60 kilometers from Walvis Bay.

mining and processing of precious metals. The smelter was constructed in the early 1960’s to process concentrate from the Tsumeb copper mine and is one of the only five commercialscale smelters in Africa. TSUMEB SMELTER – DPM 100%, GRN 0%. Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb is a subsidy of Dundee Precious Metals Inc, a Canadian based Gold mining giant which also deals in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. The smelter was constructed in the early 1960’s to process concentrate from the Tsumeb copper mine and is one of the only five commercialscale smelters in Africa. SKORPION ZINC MINE – VENDATA 100% GRN 0%. Skorpion Zinc Mine is the 8th largest Zinc mine in the world, located in southwest Namibia, near the town of Rosh Pinah producing Special High Grade (SHG) Zinc. Since November 2010 it is owned and operated by Vedanta Resources. NAVACHAB GOLD MINE –QKR 92.5 GRN 7.5%. The Navachab gold mine is situated near the town of Karibib some 170km northwest of the capital Windhoek and 171km inland of the town of Swakopmund. The mine was owned by AngloGold Ashanti until July 2014 when it was bought by a subsidiary of QKR Corporation Limited. Originally the mine was jointly-owned by the Erongo Exploration and Mining Company (70%), the Metal Mining Company of Canada (20%) and Rand Mines Exploration 10%. AngloGold acquired a 70% interest in the mine in 1998, which it increased to a 100% the following year.[3] In 2004, AngloGold and Ashanti merged to form AngloGold Ashanti.

Namibia is ranked the 4th largest producer of uranium worldwide, behind Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia, and produce about 7.1% of Uranium oxide worldwide, however the country receive very little direct returns from the sale of uranium products. Rössing Mine – Rio Tinto 69% GRN 3%, Iranians 15%, SA 10%, others 3%. Rössing Mine is the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine and has been in operation since 1976 and is Namibia's first commercial uranium mine. The mine is about 12km from the town of Arandis. Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb is a subsidy of Dundee Precious Metals Inc, a Canadian based Gold mining giant which also deals in the acquisition, exploration, development,


OTJIKOTO GOLD MINE – B2GOLD 90% EVI MINING 10% GRN 0%. The Otjikoto Gold Mine is located approximately 70 kilometres northwest of Otjiwarongo and 50 kilometres southwest of Otavi in Otjozondjupa. B2Gold Namibia is owned indirectly 90% by B2Gold Corporation and 10% by EVI Mining, a Namibian empowerment company. EVI Mining, is said to be owned by Pamue Investment, Omankete Investments and the trade union federation’s investment arm NAMMIC. B2Gold Corporation is a Vancouver based gold producer with four operating mines in Namibia. Husab Mine – SWAKOP URANIUM 90% GRN 10%. The Husab Mine, also known as the Husab Uranium Project, is a uranium mine

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

The Husab Mine is said to be the second largest uranium mine in the world after the McArthur River uranium mine in Canada. The Husab mine contains approximately 280 million tonnes of uranium ore. Mining is expected to last nearly 20 years. ETANGO URANIUM MINE - Bannerman Resources 100% GRN 0%. The Etango Uranium Project is situated on the flat Namib Desert sands, approximately 38 kilometres (by road) east of Swakopmund. Bannerman Resources Ltd announced that it owns 100% of the Etango Uranium Project in 2015. The Etango Uranium Project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium projects by 2016. Norasa Uranium – Forsys Metal 100% GRN 0%. Norasa Uranium project is a flagship of Forsys Metal – A company based in Toronto Canada. Norasa Uranium Project consist of the wholly owned Valencia project (ML 149) which has a 25 year mining licence and a 100% interest in the Namibplaas project, which is located 7.5 km north east of Valencia. Both projects have NI 43-101 compliant uranium resources and reserves. Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine - Glencore 80% GRN 0% Others 20%. The Rosh Pinah mine is one of the largest lead and zinc mines in Namibia. The mine is located in the extreme southwest, about 15 kilometers north of the Orange River and 50 kilometers east of the ocean in Rosh Pinah. The mine has reserves amounting to 14 million tonnes of ore grading 2% lead and 8% zinc thus resulting 280,000 tonnes of lead and 1.12 million tonnes of zinc. The mine is owned and operated by Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation. PE Minerals, Jaguar and the Rosh Pinah Employee Empowerment Participation Scheme Trust hold the remaining 19.92% equity interest in the Rosh Pinah. The mine was previously owned by Exxaro Resources. Otjihase, Tschidi Matcheless Coper mines - Weatherly International 95.8% GRN 2.6 - others 1.6%. Weatherly Mining Namibia operates three copper mines in Namibia, namely the Otjihase and Matchless underground mines, and the newly commissioned Tschudi open pit mine near Tsumeb. Both Otjihase, Tschidi Matcheless Coper mines are owned by Weatherly Mining Namibia, a subsidy of Weatherly Internationals. The Government of Namibia only own about 2.6% shares in Weatherly Mining Namibia through Epangelo Mining, while Weatherly International Plc owns 95.8% of the company. The remaining 1.6% is owned by Bank Windhoek and PWN.

Ten years and you have not closed the door not a single day, despite the turbulent times globally and locally, what has been the secret to your survival? RP: Of course, the resilience and guidance of the company’s President (Albert Gad) has been one key leadership secret that most in our trade have not been privileged to have, but in addition to that, Almod Diamonds has its own pattern diamond shape unique to its own self and different from the rest of the diamonds in the world. Only Almod produces this special shape of a diamond, therefore we have not been in competition with world leading countries like India and China who polish for about US$30 per carat. The diamond from Namibia is cut and polished by Almod and we then supply it to our head office in New York which then distributes it to around 130 jewelry stores mostly in the Caribbean. These shops are our own duty-free shops. The advantage of supplying our own diamond to our own shops has been key.

However, that does not mean everything has been smooth sailing. The year 2008 was the toughest for us, as we were fairly starting, but the strong belief that we were on the right track inspired us to sail through the global economic storm. We also went through a rough patch in 2015, but we made it. From a staff of 30, we have now built our own training program which started in 2011, where we train our own people, Namibians for that matter, to cut and polish. We now have 200 employees. We realized that taking employees from other companies was costlier in terms of risk than developing our own team from scratch. It has worked. Of course, we still have a group of foreign experts on hand but it’s the locals that now steer the company’s key areas. That smart integration for adequate skills transfer has given us the edge.


Almod in the thick of things

Reuven Paikin (RP), Almod Diamonds Namibia General Director discusses how the flagship of the country’s diamond cutting and polishing industry has created an edge in the Caribbean over other world giants, despite hurricanes, global economic storms and also opens up on the first ever diamond selling shop in Windhoek. Today, we can polish all types of sizes in Namibia without, that is how seasoned we have become. But how has the diamond manufacturing needs evolved over the years? RP: The whole manufacturing industry has changed in general, particularly in the diamond industry where competition is intense. The manufacturing marketing is not growing. We have too many people involved in the manufacturing but the polishing and the market itself are not in sync. The rough diamond prize is still high, and so are the labour costs and strong competition from China, therefore the main challenge becomes the need to sell the final product at a profit, especially for the polished product. Fortunately, not many have the same structure as ours where our own product is sold by our own shops.

“The whole manufacturing industry has changed in general, particularly in the diamond industry where competition is intense. The manufacturing marketing is not growing.”

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018



Most of the business sell to other retailers, which limits their profit margins, hence many companies close shop after a short while. How is the outlook for the Crown of Light in 2018? Has it surpassed the US$150m sales target for 2017?

RP: Our season is usually November to April. That is the peak season of cruises in the Caribbean. However, this season we were badly affected by the hurricanes. Our shops suffered major losses in infrastructure damage at the beginning of the season. A lot of rebuilding had to be undertaken, therefore it is still early to forecast on the target as we are still in the recovery mode. The Crown of Light is the best seller in the Caribbean. Perhaps by end of February, we will be in a position to know how our figures look like. But what makes it so tick? RP: It sparkles. The Crown of Light is the diamond with the most sparkle on the market today. Its nightly facets are a marvel. We have invested a lot in its promotion too and it comes with a strong design, thanks to creative jewelry department in New York. The level of the polish from Namibia is highly regarded once it reaches New York. In fact, all the products from Namibia are on the highest level of excellence when they are graded in the US.

The scope shows side-by-side comparisons of a Crown of Light diamond and a round brilliant diamond. So, customers can see that the sparkle and fire of a Crown of Light outperforms any other diamond. Hence it’s our best seller in the Caribbean.

But where is downstream beneficiation in your operations?

Now you have a 200 strong workforce, how come you have not choked at the skills gap in the country that every investor worries of?

All our service providers, plumbers, electricians, catering services, transport providers are all Namibian. Technically, we use Namibian engineering companies like PACO for servicing of our equipment.

RP: It is more about the amount of effort one places in creating skills and transferring them. It is not an easy process. In some instances, we recruit 50 for training but only 15 become polishers. For us to get to 200, we lost thousands through the process, some would give up on the last minute, some are just not into it, others get greener pastures etcetera. And throughout the whole training, we would have provided transport allowance, food allowance and other costs which are just flushed down the drain when the person calls it a day. Our efforts take time and with time you get quality staff. For instance, Helemia Eigab, who manages the training center joined the company as a polisher. Today he has risen through the ranks and calls the shots in that department.

The Crown of Light has so much sparkle and fire, that a Diamond Light Performance scope was developed by an independent gemological tool manufacturer to show that this diamond had superior sparkle and fire to any other diamond.


The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

RP: Beside the fringe benefits of medical aid, pension funds and transport allowances, we actually prefer using the smaller supplier who is just starting.

Take note, most diamond tools are mainly in India, but we have given local engineering companies most of whom have never dealt with diamonds to handle our equipment.

“Ladies then had nice shoes, nice ring, black coat with the glittery neck. But today, it’s the iPhone X that the ladies crave for.”

Where are the frustrations? RP: Public transport. We have a huge challenge when the public transport does not operate and does so without notice. At times our employees do not show up to work, sometimes they show up very late and in other instances, we actually ask them to grab a taxi for us to pay-forward, all because the public transport system is a malfunction and inconsistent. In the manufacturing sector, if you do not produce, you have no bread on the table. We need our people at work.


The other frustration is the December holiday. The country shuts down for the festive season during our mid-season. But we try to shorten it as possible, just for a week, the major problem becomes that all the other service providers are also on holiday. Generally, Namibia is the most supportive and welcoming country to investors that we have dealt with. The authorities are professional and that keeps you on your toes with regards to compliance and we often get problems when operating in countries where people take short-cuts. Here its just compliance to regulation, so the parameters are suitable, from the Ministry of Mines and Energy to the Customs Officials and inspectorates. Our President of Almod Diamond often refers to Namibia as the friendliest and most professional set-up whose only demand is adherence. Is there sustainability in your model though? RP: We work hard to produce as much as we can. From the view of the investors, they have a plan beyond 2030 for Namibia and in Namibia. We want to grow beyond the next 15 years. And to do that, it means we should be good enough to be at the level where the headquarters in New York expects us to be, as a big operation. We are aware that we won’t compete with China and India on labour costs, but we can outwit them with our product quality, making it better, nicer and more attractive for the world. Offshore mining has now surpassed onshore mining. How does that play into your model? RP: Our agreement with DeBeers has been honoured in earnest since day 1. If production offshore doubles, we expect more supply. DeBeers recently acquired a new vessel to double up their efforts, we also are bracing up to double our works, just in case. Of course, we buy the goods that fit our needs, either unaggregated or aggregated.

You have made a promise to the Namibian President Dr. Hage Geingob to ensure that our people can start buying the diamonds locally. Is there really room for that? RP: We have the drawings of the shop ready. We have also identified the place for the shop to operate from. We are now finalising the technical details, such as the need to create a different company to do the selling of diamonds here. Currently, we are operating on an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status, and for us to start selling that needs to change. We are already making the necessary Customs inquiries, remember all our other shops are duty-free. Therefore we need to complete certain legal aspects before selling to locals and tourists. Everything is on track, we wish to honour our promise to the President. Between 2018 and 2019, we should have a shop in Namibia. How do you view the DeBeers/Namibian Government Agreement? RP: It is a good deal. We know our position here. Now that there is a ten-year contract, it gives the industry stability. It also means another 10 year supply to the factory. We are impressed by how Namibia handles her wealth, with the peace and tranquillity prevail. So where is the risk? What is the worst that could happen to diamonds? RP: Synthetic diamonds. We hope people will still buy a diamonds. The rise of synthetic diamonds is a huge threat as it might affect our operations. Synthetic diamonds are produced in an artificial process as opposed to our natural diamonds which are created by geological processes.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018


Given the rarity and value of diamonds, it is not surprising that some would seek ways to replicate their beauty. The rise in synthetic diamonds becomes a worry as it might take over the market share. Promotion and marketing, therefore, need to be increased to give the next generation the same appetite for the same diamond that my mother wanted when she was growing up. Ladies then had nice shoes, nice ring, black coat with the glittery neck. But today, it’s the iPhone X that the ladies crave for. A diamond has never been like bread, water or food. It has been there for a woman to like. So the polish has to be on a higher level to the women of today that appetite.

About Reuven Paikin (RP) 45 years of experience in the Diamond Industry Managing Operations in Israel, Moscow, Namibia, Belgium In Diamonds from February 1977 in Israel, started as a polisher, polished all sizes and shapes, Gemologist Diploma, Industrial engineering studies, Diamond marking and dezine. Was managing small operations, in Israel, until 1995. From 1995 started managing big operations in Russia including rough buying for Belgium companies. From 2005 - 2007 rough buyer in west Africa. From 2007 established and managed the operation for Almod in Namibia and Global rough and production manager for Almod international.



Estimating and extending electric cable life Use of Electric cables is of paramount importance to any Country’s building exercise. Africa has experienced its share of growth in the electric cable industry since it is still developing its electricity sector and other related infrastructure.


ccording to Madhurendu Bajpai of CMI Limited a manufacturer of electric cables in India, the growth in renewable power generation is also one of the primary factors that have contributed to the growth of the electric power cable and wire in Africa. However, the insulating properties of power cables deteriorate with time and, at some stage of life, the cable will be unable to meet performance requirements, and suffer repeated failures. End of life (EOL) vary with the cable type, the installation and conditions under which the cable is operated, and vary from installation to installation. Cable life can be extended in most cases, depending on the condition of the cable.

leakage of current to earth or between conductors. Insulation breakdown may be total, resulting in a high fault current, resulting in leakage current.

Cable failure In the technical side, medium voltage cables fail due to a phenomenon called water trees. Water trees can grow from the inside of the cable out, from the outside of the cable in, or from defects within the insulation. As they grow, they look like trees or bushes. Water trees grow until they can no longer hold the voltage stress and an electric tree is

The lifetime of a power cable depends on its ability to carry the rated current safely at the rated voltage without excessive loss or failures. Cable failure is a breakdown of the insulation surrounding the conductor and subsequent


The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

formed. Once an electrical tree is formed, the cable usually fails within two weeks. Failure results as partial discharges erode the wall of the void in which they occur. The erosion of each discharge in a void increases the size of the void and so decreases the partial discharge inception and extinction voltages for that void. This self-acceleration means that any PD occurring at operating voltages is likely to lead to rapid failure.

Cable monitoring and testing Monitoring and testing are essential to determine the life expectancy of power cables. The two most common methods of testing the condition of cable insulation are partial discharge (PD) and tan-delta (TD) testing. Partial discharge can occur at voids, gaps and similar defects in medium and high voltage cable systems. If allowed to continue, partial discharge will erode the insulation, usually forming a treeshaped pattern of deterioration (electrical tree) and eventually result in complete breakdown and failure of the cable or accessory. TD testing can reveal the presence of PD paths in the cable. Data obtained through PD and TD testing and monitoring can provide critical information regarding the quality of insulation and its impact on cable system health. By detecting and trending PD as well as TD, it is possible to


line. A rising trend indicates weak insulation which may fail if the test voltage is increased beyond the rated voltage of the cable.

In a pure capacitor, the current leads the voltage by 90°. The insulation, in a pure condition, will behave similarly. However, if the insulation has deteriorated, the current which flows through the insulation will also have a resistive component. This will cause the angle of the current to be less than 90°.

Cable life extension

This difference in the angle is known as the loss angle. The tangent of the angle gives us an indication of the condition of the insulation. A higher value for the loss angle indicates a high degree of contamination of the insulation. The cable whose insulation is to be tested is first disconnected and isolated. The test voltage is applied from the very low frequency power source and the TD controller takes the measurements. The test voltage is increased in steps up to the rated voltage of the cable. The readings are plotted in a graph against the applied voltage and the trend is studied. Healthy insulation would produce a straight

Injection technology, otherwise known as cable insulation rejuvenation, is a wellestablished option to cable replacement. Cable injection technology involves the injection of a diffusive, water-reactive material into the conductor core of a buried power cable insulated with solid dielectric materials. Once inside the cable, the fluid diffuses into the cable’s insulation and chemically combines with the water content inevitably contained within. This process retards the growth of water trees, the primary cause of cable failure in aged solid dielectric cable, simultaneously increasing overall insulation breakdown strength. The silicon-based fluid is injected under pressure through the interstitial spaces of the conductor strands. The properties of the injection fluid causes oligomerization with water molecules in the water tree.

The resulting larger molecules fill the void, repairing the dielectric properties.


observe its development over time to assist with strategic decisions regarding the repair or replacement of the cable.

Treated cables demonstrate long term survival rates on par with new cables. With application costs in the order of one third to half of the cost of cable replacement it is not surprising that injection technology has experienced remarkable market success. Most of this market growth, however, has been limited to medium voltage distribution cables. Solid dielectric cables which transmit power at voltages above 46 kV have construction details similar to distribution cables, however questions remain regarding the potential effectiveness of injection technology in light of the increased insulation thickness required by the higher voltages.

The importance of land surveying in Namibia Surveying and land surveying is the measurement and mapping of our surrounding environment using mathematics, specialized technology and equipment. Surveyors measure just about anything on the land, in the sky or on the ocean bed. They even measure polar ice-caps.


and surveyors work in the office and in the field. In the field, they use the latest technology such as high order GPS, Robotic Total Stations (Theodolites), and aerial and terrestrial scanners to map an area, making computations and taking photos as evidence.

Importance of Land surveying According to Renishaw plc, laser scanning is not only used in land surveying but is being adopted in more and more industries, since it gives detailed, accurate data, very quickly, and with fewer manpower requirements, saving companies costs. Surveying is important and most of us depend on it so as to ensure order in the physical world around us.

In the office, Surveyors then use sophisticated software, such as Auto-cad to draft plans and map the onsite measurements. Surveyors work on a diverse variety of projects from land subdivision and mining exploration, to tunnel building and major construction, which means no two days are the same.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018


They are experts in determining land size and measurement. They also give advice and provide information to guide the work of engineers, architects and developers.

Surveyors play an integral role in land development, from the planning and design of land subdivisions through to the final construction of roads, utilities and landscaping. Surveyors are the first people on any construction site, measuring and mapping the land. These primary measurements are then used by architects to understand and make the most of the unique landscape when designing and engineers to plan structures accurately and safely, ensuring buildings not only fit with the landscape but are able to be constructed.



“Many properties have considerable problems in regard to improper bounding, miscalculations in past surveys, titles, easements, and wildlife crossings.”

Those that do not have such systems are looking to implement them soon.

“Because GNSS equipment is solid state electronics, and because accuracies of different makes is the same, there is very little to differentiate between makes of GNSS. Ease of Use, flexibility and Support are the most important things to look for.

According to Haglöf Sweden AB, It is valuable for everyone to keep track of assets to maintain control and healthy growth. Standardization, calibration and control systems are used in all industries, and when measuring, storing and processing data onsite, error sources are efficiently minimized. Problem areas are detected in time and actions are based on facts and figures. It is necessary to mark the boundaries on the ground, so that they are clear to observers standing on or near the property. Also surveying and land surveying is intended to provide the evidence needed by the title insurer to delete certain standard exceptions to coverage and thereby provide “extended coverage” against off-record title matters including matters that would be revealed by an accurate survey. Many properties have considerable problems in regard to improper bounding, miscalculations in past surveys, titles, easements, and wildlife crossings. Also many properties are created from multiple divisions of a larger piece over the course of years, and with every additional division the risk of miscalculation increases. The result can be abutting properties not coinciding with adjacent parcels, resulting in


gaps and/or overlaps. Many times a surveyor must solve a puzzle using pieces that do not exactly fit together. In these cases, the solution is based upon the surveyor’s research and interpretation, along with established procedures for resolving discrepancies. This essentially is a process of continual error correction and update, where official recordation documents countermand the previous and sometime erroneous survey documents recorded by older monuments and older survey methods.

GPS Surveying The market for survey grade GNSS as well as for GIS handheld GPS is increasing in Africa. Survey grade GNSS is used by Land surveyors for new township layouts, and by construction companies for survey control points and for staking out roads etc. It is needed for drone surveys for ground control points, and is increasingly used for precision agriculture. According to Dave Beattie of Autobild Africa a distributor of a wide range of trusted surveying equipment from South Africa, some African countries already have CORS systems for getting accurate fixes from what is called NTrip Rovers, using cellphone networks to access the CORS bases via internet.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

Most makes now offer Windows controllers with universally used software such as Field Genius or Carlson Surv Ce. These programs are well established, used around the world and have built-in co-ordinate systems for all countries. They also work with all makes and models of GNSS as well as total stations,” he says. “If I were considering purchasing I would be wary of buying a system that uses controllers and software built by the GNSS brand. This is their way of tying in customers for life. To expand ones system to several GNSS units, ones options become severely limited,” he adds. Beattie further mentions that, to replace these controllers is very expensive. With Windows controllers and universal software one has unlimited choices and flexibility. There are universal protocols used by all brands such as RTCM or CMR+. Some manufacturers program their GNSS antennas to communicate in Brand specific protocols. Once again, these brands should be avoided because it limits one to that brand only for future purchases and expanding ones system. “For example you may have a base and rover set and need to expand by buying another rover. Keep your options open by sticking to windows systems as mentioned above. Then support is the next big issue, and of course price. Prices can vary significantly but, unlike Opto mechanical instruments, GNSS products are all generally robust, lightweight, and give the same accuracies,” he affirms.


Land Surveying from Marwa’s lenses G. Marwa Land Surveyors have in a short space of time become a professional land surveying firm serving the Namibian people and its landscapes


rom Ongwediva, Eenhana, Ondangwa, Omuthiya, Oshikuku, Outapi, Tsandi, Okahao to Ruacana, G.Marwa Land Surveyors is now more than just a figurehead. “We have also done for private developers such as Elisenheim and Lafrenz for Trustco. On Topographical Surveys, we have done several aerial surveys for Gibson Marwa planning purposes. In Engineering surveys, we have done many roads and the longest we hav e done so far is the Gobabis-Aranos via Aminius road,” says director and founder Gibson Marwa. A former lecturer of the then Polytechnic of Namibia now, NUST, Marwa has over 10

years’ experience in Namibia’s engineering and cadastral surveying. He adds, “I wouldn’t say our style is unique to the rest. Land survey work is done according to laws and the accuracies as well as procedures are spelt out clearly in those laws which govern the way land should be surveyed in the country. However, I must emphasise the fact that land survey, unlike other professions requires one to be strong in both field work operations as well as office work operations. One has to be a guru in both. Field work is sometimes frustrating for many. It involves working outdoors, we talk of Namibian heat in

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

summer, climbing mountains to go survey the trig beacons, and many other hard conditions which are associated with outdoor conditions. A land surveyor does not need to be a good driver, but an exceptional driver because some terrains in Namibia are not for those with driving phobia. So, a combination of all those factors as well as top of the art equipment makes one effective, thereby meet client targets at minimal costs.” As the world now moves into the era of the ‘iconic building’ and the ‘starchitect’, G. Marwa Land Surveyors are looking to be the next Bilbao through technological advancement.



He argues that at the moment only students who train outside the country can only be registered as Professional Land Surveyors because the curriculum at NUST falls short of the required standard. GOAL

“My ultimate goal is to have a firm that is all over Africa. Africa is still developing and as Land Surveyors, we are the first starting point and the last as well. Before any infrastructure development occurs, a land surveyor is a person to be there first to survey for the production of a topographical map.” Land surveyors have to emulate technology, he argues, but if one keeps trend, it might mean forking out a lot of money which one might fail to recoup from the payments of services rendered. At the same time ignoring technology will be shooting one’s self in the foot. So, to be effective, one has to keep a balance, he maintains, adding, one can’t buy all the latest equipment and software all the time as this will put you out of business. Land Surveyors, just like other professionals, are not left out in green earth for sustainable development.

Soon after the designs are completed, a land surveyor is also the first on the ground to do what is called ‘Setting Out’. This is merely transferring the designs from the paper to the ground. This is done by placing beacons which depicts the features which appear on the drawing to the ground. Builders need pegs to start their work. These pegs are the ones placed by the land surveyor. A land surveyor is also the last professional to leave the site of any infrastructure.

“In the past, surveying methods was all about line of sight. One had to see from one point to the other. In doing so, the obstructions, which are mainly vegetation had to be cut and be removed. Obviously, this isn’t good for the environment. The conventional survey methods accelerated deforestation,” thus Marwa.

Before the infrastructure is ready for occupation or use, a Land Surveyor should do what is called as built survey. Designs and finished products have discrepancies due to human errors. A distance which appears as exact on the design might be short or more by a few millimetres. Thus, the need for As-Built plans which will be used in future for renovations or upgradings.

Besides, land surveyors are also involved in erven subdivisions and have to align newly created erven in such a way that the building that is going to be erected will utilise as much sunlight as possible to save energy.

Currently G.Marwa Land Surveyors is a team of one Professional Land Surveyor, three Land Surveyors in Training (LSITs), four Survey Technicians as well as support staff, which comprises of office administrators for the two offices in Ondangwa and Windhoek, plus two drivers, two receptionists and two cleaners.

For Marwa, the orientation of erven is also in line with prevailing wind conditions so that air conditioning in the buildings is minimised. All these are taken into consideration and a client is advised accordingly. If given an opportunity to address the lineMinster, Marwa says his advice would be for NUST to implement the correct curriculum to produce local Professional Land Surveyors.


Any practitioners involved in infrastructure designs need a contour map for them to do their designs.

“But when the economy slows down, all professions are affected. Since Government has stopped or slowed down most of the capital projects, it also affects land surveyors. Since Land Surveyors are at the fore-front of land delivery, we commend Government for giving green light to Private Public Partnerships (PPP). The Private Sector of the

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

economy should meet Government half way to accelerate infrastructure development. Gone are the days when the economy was all about Government.”

Land Surveying consists of many branches. The main branches are: a) Cadastral Surveying, which involves the survey of land properties for the attainment of Title Deeds b) Topographical/Detail Surveying which is basically done to produce maps and plans which are then used for designing infrastructure by Architects, Civil Engineers or Town Planners. c) Engineering Surveying which is setting out of Engineering works. This process involves taking what is on a designed drawing and putting it on the ground and checking if both horizontal alignment as well as vertical plumb are as on the designed drawing. d) Sectional Title Surveys. These are surveys done on Townhouses/ flats for them to have separate titles. A block of flats will have individual Title Deeds and make it easy to dispose of individual section. e) GIS, Geographical Information Systems is a tool used in problem solving in many areas of our day to day living. Spatial Data capture, depending on the accuracies required, is done by Land Surveyors. Utility GIS is one are Land Surveyors are required. f ) Mining Surveying and these involves surveying done at mines to guide and direct miners as well as to determine the volumes of material mined. g) Hydrographic Surveying is done at oceans for mapping the sea bed as well as Engineering works that might be done off-shore. h) Deformation Monitoring. These are precise surveying done to monitor tall building as well as dam walls for safety precautions. These types of surveys can also be done to monitor natural disasters such as landslides, but are not common in Namibia.

Water is a very necessary part of every individual’s life. Due to pollution and harsh effects of industries the preserved water on earth is decreasing day by day. In most African countries, substantial quantities of wastewater from many commercial establishments like laundries, hotels and hospitals, freely mix with sewage.


he larger the sewer networks, the riskier they are to operate, especially in developing countries which deploy only manual sewer cleaning processes. In the west, sewage from toilets, kitchens, baths, wash basins, washing machines, etc are collected in each building, passed through sewerage (typically underground drainage lines) and taken to a corner of the city where a centralized ‘Sewage Treatment Plant’ (STP) treats it. This treated sewage is then discharged to the sea or other water bodies. Most modern cities and towns were built many decades if not centuries back, and so such sewerage systems and STPs were also built long back.


Wastewater treatment as a water scarcity remedy for Africa

Clearing sewer blockages and replacing old pipes becomes a huge mess in the centre of cities with such systems, and is costly as well.

The old wastewater management In the old days, wastewater was not considered a reusable resource, and so society was only interested in discharging the sewage, either to the sea or other water bodies, or out in the open. STP technologies were so primitive that the STP areas used to stink, and so they built STPs in a God-forsaken corner of the city/ town where nobody lived anywhere nearby. These STPs were huge in size, and consequently, had to be built to be adequate for the next 25 or more years, thus building over-capacity, which brings down the efficiency of the electrical systems, increasing the power consumption.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

They built sewer lines running across the city/ town to the STP location. While the pipe sizes in the farthest locations were small, the pipe sizes became larger as they got nearer to the STP because the volume of sewage they carry increases. Close to the STP, the pipe sizes became very large. The typical cost of sewer lines was 6-8 times the cost of the STP.

The current wastewater management Things have changed since then. Clean water is becoming scarce in the continent.



Communities have started looking at ways of re-using treated sewage. The continent is looking at an adoption of zero discharge concepts even in respect of sewage. Many countries have started legislating that industry shall not draw ground water, but have to treat sewage and re-use. According to CEO of Keneco Environmental Company, Kimani Rebo, all water nowadays is waste water and there is therefore a need for thorough treatment of all water to ensure safety of the the users. Rebo says that most ‘strange’ skin diseases, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and cancers affecting children are due to consumption of untreated water. “There are a few factors that should be put into consideration when deciding on how to treat your wastewater. You need to get the water tested to establish the kinds of wastes present. This will ensure your water is treated efficiently.” “You should also consider the use your treated wastewater will be put to. Water meant for drinking or cooking goes through a more thorough treatment process than one meant for irrigation, for example. The size of the project also determines the method to be used... ...A wastewater treatment plant for a residential house is less complicated as compared to that serving an entire city,” explains Rebo

Technological advancements A few new modern technologies are coming up which can treat sewage to high levels of purity, fit for re-use for not only gardening but even for toilet flush, car wash, industry including building construction, and even drinking. According to Martin Pryor of Prentec, wastewater treatment is necessary to protect rivers and reservoirs. “In a number of areas there is little or no wastewater treatment. This leads to the contamination of water resources and groundwater. Polluted water resources can lead to Bacteriological contamination of drinking waters and thereby poses a significant risk to human health,” he adds.


“In a number of areas there is little or no wastewater treatment. This leads to the contamination of water resources and groundwater. Polluted water resources can lead to Bacteriological contamination of drinking waters and thereby poses a significant risk to human health,”

Prentec makes use of a “Sequencing batch Reactor” (SBR) wastewater plant design. This allows the full treatment of municipal sewage in one process reactor. The sequence includes: Aeration for COD and ammonia removal; Stagnation for settling of biomass; Discharge of settled sludge as required; and the Decant of clear water. The clear water can be chlorinated for disinfection prior to discharge. The settled solids can be dewatered on a drying bed. The Prentec wastewater treatment package is very suitable for Africa as it is easy to construct on site, requires less mechanical maintenance and has proven to be very robust and easily meets effluent specifications. Furthermore, Graham Hartlett of WEC Projects a provider of engineered solutions in the water and wastewater treatment industry reiterates that, the purchaser should ensure that the technological system is well engineered for the conditions in the continent. “Therefore advice from a professional is very important before installing any system,” he adds. “Relevant authorities need to be informed of the latest methods of waste water management as technologies are developing at a very rapid rate”

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

Leon du Casse the Managing Director at Bio Sewage a provider of innovative waste water treatment solutions.


Tulinavo: An assurance of repute Founded in 2013 by Dankie Munenguni, Tulinavo Investment Group (TIG) is a diverfsied group of companies with business interest in the arena of property development, construction, ,Waste management and investment consultancy services, just to mention a few.

“We have inadequate professors and trainers in engineering in Namibia and we are highly dependent on foreign expertise.”


rom a general works contractor, the group has grown into one of the country’s most established entities with experience in design and building solutions, project management services building trades and other related engineering works. Today Tulinavo Investment Group is a main contractor for small to medium sized projects and performs project management services as well as design inputs and engineering solutions to its clients “Our objective is to provide our clients with an ‘I am assured’ experience when we are chosen to execute their projects. Our emphasis on clear communication and follow-through procedures ensures that clients’ objectives are top priority in the planning and execution of all our processes,” says Munenguni. The Group’s project management and execution philosophy is centered around:

From a N$750-00 starting capital, the Group has now worked on multiple small to medium sized projects , with the Ministry Of Agriculture , NHE , and Rundu Town Council

principles of running a company and executing projects. I have learned how to work with people, manage employees and the whole concept of project management.

“In these few short years I have acquired a lot of skills and learned most of the basic

How to make use of time properly, being a project manager on site and behind the office desk.

• Create detailed schedule and resources plan to meet clients project objective.

It has also increased my confidence in project execution. You need to be well organised, have the right project management skills and get your funds together.

• Communicate clearly with all project stakeholders. • Track project progress and ne tune deviations. • Supervise closely on quality of work done. • Complete and commission the project on time.

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I would like to gain a good reputation and build my brand. To always be known for service delivery beforehand and for integrity purposes,” says Munenguni.

Advice to Government:

But it has not come without a setback for Munenguni, particularly in 2017. “Delayed payments led to work coming to a standstill and had to lay off people and had scale down operations. We had problems with our creditors and had

Government needs to promote integrity, accountability, transparency, competitive supply, effectiveness, efficiency, fair-dealing, responsiveness, informed decision-making, consistency, legality and integration in the procurement of assets, we also suggest that if we are to be truly transparent all tender bids be published fully in the media for all to see and gauge how fair the bidding process was.

Cash flow problems. And yet the best captain learns in the toughest of storms; “The biggest lesson from all this was that in future we must establish a sinking fund to help weather the lean years. As SME’s we rarely build a sinking fund and when times get tough we run into financial crisis.” Major Milestones: ü Installed Irrigation Scheme. ü Renovations to Existing Farm Buildings in Vhungu Vhungu. ü Construction of War Veteran Houses for NHE. ü 10km electric fence for Nambwa Cooperative Farm.


The government should ensure that all tenders are backed up by an available and disbursable Government Budget.

We would suggest that a bill be enacted to strengthen the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) with powers to blacklist the corrupt and professional and incompetent members. For example, the Medical council has powers to blacklist, expel and ban doctors found guilty of malpractice. In the construction industry malpractice would include inflated prices on imports, use of inferior materials and insider trading. We also suggest special water rates apply for the construction industry. For Munenguni, TIG envisions itself with a N$100 million turnover over the coming ten years, plus a regional footprint buoyed by over 500 employees.

The Engineer | FEBRUARY 2018

“We expect by then to have a fully-fledged pension and Medical aid scheme for all our employees. As a construction company we shall built accommodation units for our employees and implement a home ownership scheme to foster employee loyalty,” he says of his vision. Besides expensive and inadequate water supply within the construction industry, the lack of technical skills in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering fields keeps Munenguni awake at night.

“We have inadequate professors and trainers in engineering in Namibia and we are highly dependent on foreign expertise. We need to isolate engineering teachers and professors from the normal educational streams and remuneration systems and create incentives for Namibians to take up this technical fields,” he says. With TIG’s major efforts leaning towards the Walvis Bay Waterfront project this year, TIG remains enthusiastic about its commitment to providing jobs, quality services, maximum returns.




To be a SMART and Caring City by 2022

To Enhance the quality of life for all our people by rendering efficient and effective municipal services.

City of Windhoek

Council 2014

Mayor, Cllr M Kazapua, SWAPO

Deputy Mayor, Cllr TT Uwanga SWAPO

Chairperson of the Management Committee (MC) Cllr MJ Amadhila SWAPO

Cllr M Shiikwa (MC) SWAPO

Cllr AK Iiyambo (MC) SWAPO

Cllr M Ukeva (MC) SWAPO

Cllr J Moonde SWAPO

Cllr JE Paulus SWAPO

Cllr H Ulumbu SWAPO

Cllr I Subasubani SWAPO

Cllr FN Kahungu SWAPO

Cllr A Niizimba SWAPO

Cllr LK Kaiyamo (MC) SWAPO

Alderwoman E Trepper (MC) SWAPO

Cllr MHK Veico (MC) SWAPO

Cllr BE Cornelius RDP


Cllr I Semba DTA

Cllr J Kauandenge NUDO


HEAD: City Police AK Kanime

SE: Human Capital and Corporate Services G Mayumbelo

SE: Electricity OA Hekandjo

SE: Housing, Property Management D Gerber and Human Settlements GW Esterhuizen

SE: Economic Development and Community Services FN Hambuda Hambuda FN

SE: Information and Communication Technology R Kandjiriomuini

SE: Urban and Transport Planning P van Rensburg

SE: Finance and Customer Service JD Davis

SE: Infrastructure, Water and Technical Services L Narib

The Engineer Magazine February 2018  

The February 2018 Issue of The Engineer Magazine

The Engineer Magazine February 2018  

The February 2018 Issue of The Engineer Magazine