The Construction Supervision of Your First Category III Dam - Aspects All Young Engineers Should Know - The Neckartal Dam, Namibia

Author: GL Coetzee
Conference: SANCOLD Conference 2017
Date: November 15-17, 2017

Young engineers are well equipped with knowledge regarding the design, engineering, and construction of Category III dams, but require in-field experience to develop both their project and program management skills for such an undertaking. The figures and statistics of these large scale projects can be overwhelming and it can often take months for young engineers to find their feet during the construction phase of such a project. Upon completion, the Neckartal Dam will be the largest dam in Namibia, with nearly three times the volume of the Hardap Dam, currently the largest reservoir in the country. The multi-billion Namibian Dollar, Category III Neckartal dam will contribute significantly to the sustainable economic development of the //Kharas Region, southern Namibia. The dam will provide water for crop cultivation covering approximately 5 000 hectares of irrigated farmland and provide employment for several hundred people in the process. For the author (a young engineer), it was a dream come true to be part of the construction of such a monumental structure. Projects of this magnitude may influence the direction of one’s career, cause lifestyle changes and challenge the perspective and vision of an engineer’s life. This paper shares lessons learned in overcoming project and individual challenges faced by a young engineer and provides a message to supervisors as to what may be expected from the younger generation.


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