The Epupa Falls hydro scheme, as proposed by Namibia, may affect one of the country’s ethnic groups. The Himba, a 30,000 minority people settled near the Epupa Falls has opposed the government’s decision to construct a 360MW hydro power scheme there.

Namibia has postponed the decision on the site for the hydro power scheme, which is to be shared with neighbouring Angola, until later in 2000. However, the government intends to go ahead with the US$540M project as soon as an agreement can be reached with Angola, which wants the project to be constructed on its side at Baines, some 40km downstream along the Kunene river

With its 380km2 reservoir, the proposed 160m high Epupa dam will inundate the Himba group’s traditional meeting place, along with a broad swath of the surrounding river basin.

Namibia currently imports 70% of its electricity from South Africa.