Saturday, May 15, 2021

Beneficiaries use poverty eradication package to buy water

By Reuben Pitse 

 

Water crisis that has hit the country in recent months is forcing some Batswana in the Kgalagadi District to use goats from the government eradication programmes that were donated to them to buy water, The Telegraph learnt this week. 

Kgalagadi District Council Chairman, Justice Nkwane confirmed the latest development this week .

He said the situation is heartbreaking.

“As the council chairperson I am aware of reports suggesting that some business people are selling water to poverty eradication beneficiaries as the water crisis rages on. I’m also aware that small stock that was provided by government for poverty eradication purposes is now being sold in order to get drinking water. But that amounts to cheating,” he said. 

He said it has been two months since Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) reported that the water plant in the area has broken down and some damaged parts had been taken to South Africa for repair.

“We do not know when the situation will be back to normal.”  

Nkwane added that he strongly believes that the council would not let such a situation to go on just like that.

“People are now being taken advantage of and cheated so cheaply.” 

Nkwane said this week they will embark on an official trip to the affected settlements to get first hand information following which he will convene the stakeholders to map the way forward.  

 Councillor for the wards of Zutshwa, Ngwatle and Ukhwi settlements in Kgalagadi North constituency Mpolokang Watlhotse told The Telegraph that so serious is water crisis in the  region that the situation has now forced majority of the residents to buy water with their small livestock especially goats.

He also said it was the poor that were most affected.

 

These are people that were given goats by Government for poverty eradication purposes.

 

Watlhotse added that as the water crisis moves from bad to worse, some opportunists have found a niche in the market.

 

“It is really pathetic that some heartless people from Hukuntsi and surrounding villages are flocking in to these settlements and sell water to this people in exchange of goats.”

 He said at least two hundred liters of water buy a goat.

 

“That is daylight robbery and should be condemned with strongest terms.”

 

“These people are in crisis and opportunists are taking advantage of the situation and that is not acceptable at all,” he said. 

 

Watlhotse stated that water crisis has also affected students as they do not eat well and some have decided not to go to school, something that is likely to affect their academic performance.

The headman of Zutshwa Olebile Motlhaetsi, shared the same sentiments with Watlhotse. He indicated that it is now considered normal for students go to school without a bath and teachers have accepted the situation because there is nothing that they can do as they cannot send students back home. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper