The Botswana African Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOG) says though they are still concerned about the water crises in the capital city with the Gaborone Dam almost drying out last year, they are hopeful that the few rains that continue to pour might change the situation.
“If Batswana can use water responsibly and continue to observe the Water Utilities restrictions, there is no doubt that by May we will be using Gaborone Dam for our water games,” said BAYGOG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho.
He said they are praying that the rains continue to fill Gaborone dam which is supposed to be a host for water-based sports. Despite torrent rains, Gaborone dam has been not been filling up to expected levels.
Its level has been increasing by less than 5% unlike other dams, especially the ones in the northern part of Botswana, which registered massive level increases. The latest dam level published on March 12 is 15.7% while last month, during the same time the level was 13.1%. This is a slight increase of 2.6%.
When asked why the Committee does not take a swift decision to move the water-based sports games to the Northern part of Botswana where there is abundant rainfall, Serufho was quick to say moving games out of Gaborone comes with huge costs.
“I cannot rule the possibility of the games going out of Gaborone but there will be cost incurred in things like transport and accommodation hence affecting our budget,” said Serufho.
He said apart from avoiding costs by keeping games inside the capital city, they also want to “sell and develop” Gaborone. He explained that games of this nature are meant to develop and market cities and towns.
Serufho said these games are just like the Olympics, Commonwealth games and the All Africa Games which are meant to be hosted by one city.
Alternative dams to be used for water sports are situated about 300 km north of the capital. One closest is Lotsane dam (107.7%) in Palapye.
However Serufho said they have not yet considered moving the sports to other alternative venues as yet.
As if the water shortage problem was enough, BAYGOC are also facing uncertain power crises in the country, which started early this month and it is not clear if the situation will be back to normal when the visitors come next month.