Botswana Meat Commission has rebuffed media statements that its Maun abattoir has closed operations due to water shortages. Instead the commission says the abattoir slaughtering capacity has since been increased by 33 percent.
“The BMC Maun abattoir remains open for business and fully operational. BMC assures all cattle-producer stakeholders and general public that though the plant is experiencing reduced water supply there was never a decision to close it,” BMC’s Communications Manager Brian Dioka said in statement on Friday.
Although BMC is currently bowsing water from Chanoga village since January 14th, Dioka also pleaded with Water Utilities Corporation for daily supplements. He said the Commission also made an official request to Tawana Land Board to sink boreholes around Thamalakane River and only received an approval recently.
Production at the Maun abattoir was recently affected by water shortages occasioned by the drying up of Thamalakane River. Plant manager at the Maun abattoir, Oabona Ramotshwana revealed in an interview with this publication that they have not closed down the abattoir completely, but have greatly reduced production because of serious water shortages in Maun and surrounding areas.
He explained that the abattoir has all along been drawing water from the nearby Thamalakane River, which was later treated at the in-house treatment plant. However, the Thamalakane River has since dried up and the last supply of 150 cubic metres was delivered last week Tuesday. However, the supply was not enough to satisfy production, as the Maun abattoir uses at least 450 cubic metres of water per day.
“This whole situation has put us in a very precarious position. We have had to scale down on production because we couldn’t slaughter continuously as we used to,” he said.
He further explained that there are currently close to 250, 000 cattle at the Makalamabedi quarantine awaiting slaughter, adding that he wasn’t sure if BMC will be able to meet the demand.
“Because of the current situation, we have resorted to slaughtering the cattle in two slots of 100 per day. We slaughtered the first batch last week Thursday and the second batch will be slaughtered on Tuesday,” he said.
In the meantime, Ramotshwana said they will depend on Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) for water supplies since the Thamalakane River has dried up.