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Ruacana is located in Namibia
Location in Namibia
Coordinates: 17°25′20″S 14°18′7″E / 17.42222°S 14.30194°E / -17.42222; 14.30194Coordinates: 17°25′20″S 14°18′7″E / 17.42222°S 14.30194°E / -17.42222; 14.30194
Country  Namibia
Region Omusati Region
Constituency Ruacana Constituency
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 2,985
Time zone South African Standard Time (UTC+1)

Ruacana is a town in Omusati Region, northern Namibia and the district capital of the Ruacana electoral constituency. It is located on the border with Angola on the river Kunene. The town is known for the picturesque Ruacana Falls nearby, and for its underground hydroelectric plant.

Ruacana was developed around a major underground hydroelectric plant linked to the nearby dam across the border in Angola at Calueque. The dam and pumping station were bombed in a Cuban airstrike in 1988, during the Angolan Civil War. The facility was partially repaired and today NamPower operates three turbines producing a maximum of 240 megawatts.[2]

In 1988, the settlement consisted of only 17 households of which 14 belonged to soldiers of the South African Defence Force while the remaining 3 were for SWAWEK (Suidwes-Afrikaanse Water en Krag, Afrikaans: South-West African Water and Power) families.[citation needed] Ruacana's settlement status was upgraded to that of a village in 2005, and to town in 2010.[3]

The place normally receives an annual average rainfall of 426 millimetres (16.8 in), although in the 2010/2011 rainy season 960 millimetres (38 in) were measured.[4]

The 600 hectares (1,500 acres) farm Etunda is situated near Ruacana. It is run as a government supported irrigation scheme and has been established in 1993. Half of the farm is commercial irrigation land, the other half is allocated to 82 small-scale farmers. Etunda cultivates maize, wheat, watermelons, bananas, and other produce.[5]


  1. ^ "Table 4.2.2 Urban population by Census years (2001 and 2011)". Namibia 2011 - Population and Housing Census Main Report. Namibia Statistics Agency. p. 39. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Smit, Nico (16 March 2011). "Ruacana power plant running at full throttle". The Namibian. 
  3. ^ Shaanika, Helvy (7 September 2011). "Ruacana unveils new road, hall". New Era. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Menges, Werner (26 May 2011). "Rainy season was one for the record books". The Namibian. 
  5. ^ "Etunda Irrigation Scheme". Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Government of Namibia. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 

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