Govt assures safety at Pilikwe radiation facility
by NGONIDZASHE DZIMIRI
Pilikwe residents have been given surety that the proposed radiation facility will not compromise their health.
“I want to assure the people of Pilikwe and Batswana in general that we cannot push a project that is not in the best interest of this country, let alone threaten life,” said Johnie Swartz the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology.
Swartz confirmed that the necessary consultations, dating back to the year 2007, were conducted. “We have even involved such organizations as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Department of Environmental Affairs for their professional input to ensure that the proposed facility complies with both international standards and safety standards,” he revealed.
Pilikwe residents had raised alarm about the proposed facility in their area. Sometime ago, during the consultation stages, residents of Pilikwe made it known to government that the nuclear facility was not welcome in their area.
Pilikwe residents had wondered why, of all areas, Pilikwe was selected to be the ideal place for the facility. However, Swartz said an Environmental Impact Assessment that was conducted had shown that the Pilikwe site is suitable for the construction of the radiation storage.
Meanwhile, the ministry is awaiting response from the Ngwato Land Board following their application for the land that was submitted a few months ago.
He added that they want to assure everyone that it is in the best interest of Batswana and all inhabitants of this country to have a radiation storage facility.
This facility is not a radioactive disposal site as some have alluded, Swartz said, rather it is a temporary storage facility for storing radioactive items before repatriation to the supplier as required by international protocols.