The North East District Council (NEDC) is currently facing several challenges in connecting private water pipes to residents, ranging from lack of serviced land, poor infrastructure and shortage of resources.
The revelation was made by the Council Chairperson of North East District Council, City Kealotswe, during the NEDC full council meeting last week.
He expressed concern saying that installations of private water connections in the district have been very slow, adding that in the past quarter, the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) Masunga Management Centre recorded 438 water pipe bursts which affected the connection of these water pipes.
“The management centre prioritizes maintenance of pipe bursts as they cause a huge loss of revenue and failure to supply water to the downstream consumer,” he said.
Kealotswe added that the result of this prioritization leads to connections not being done in time, as they have to be sacrificed in order to attend to leakages. He said that Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has since resorted to outsourcing plant hire as well as hiring of casual workers in order to expedite connections.
Kealotswe further stated that outsourcing of the service to address the huge backlog is being contemplated as an alternative solution to the slow connection rate.
“The current backlog as at 31st January 2013 is 125, inclusive of destitute persons whose connection fees were paid by the North East District Council,” Kealotswe added.
On a positive note, Kealotswe said that water supply in the district had been satisfactory. He said that the water levels at Ntimbale Dam as at 31st January stood at 99.63 percent capacity, a volume which he said is enough to supply the North East District villages with water for additional twenty conservative months without inflow.
“Water supply was satisfactory throughout most of the villages except for villages in the eastern part of the district such as Jackalas 1, Senyawe, Ramokgwebana, Tshesebe, Themashanga and Tsamaya.
These villages experienced prolonged dry spells that were caused not only by the increased demand in the district but also due to load shedding by the Botswana Power Corporation,” he said.
He, however, said that construction of reservoirs at Senyawe and Themashanga were completed in December 2012 and the two tanks have been put into use as part of the strategy to mitigate water shortages.