BY ARNOLD LETSHOLO
The Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control (DWMPC) has taken an exemplary move of water conservation by introducing rainwater harvesting initiative at its head office in Gaborone, Block three industrial.
The infrastructure of the initiative was officially launched by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Thato Yaone Raphaka on Friday. The department also recycled old water pipes from the North-South Water Carrier Project to turn them into plots in the garden the department started recently.
“This building of ours is a ‘castle’, and our roofs are fitted with gutters which in the past collected water and deposited into the yard paving, where it flowed out of the yard into other streams down town. This was a waste given the scarcity of water as a resource in this time of climate change. We have now decided to harvest the water so that we use it in the ablutions,” explained Oarabile Serumola, DWMPC Director.
She said that they have placed two tanks, of 10 000 liters carrying capacity each at strategic place where water is collected from the roofs. Had the rains been enough, the 20 000 liters would be used in the ablution system for four or more months. This she said would cut costs the department incurred through use of water in ablution.
“This is a very important project as government greatly encourages ministries to identify areas where cost savings could be realized. The successful implementation of the initiative will ensure prudent utilization of government financial resources and could serve as a demonstration project for other institutions to emulate. I wish to commend the department for their good efforts,” said Raphaka while giving keynote address before launching the project.
The water is collected through pipes that have been fitted with a filter to ensure algine is blocked from flowing through, into the tanks. It is then pumped by electric engine into the toilets. The harvested water is used specifically for flushing toilets. For washing hands in the sinks the potable WUC water is used. In case water drops tool low in the tanks to be conveyed to the toilets the WUC supply is automatically re-supplied.
Director Serumola explained that they could not be using the generator had the tanks been elevated a bit, as gravity force could be used. She said the next phase of the conservation initiative would be to install solar panels to reduce utilization of grid power where possible. Two more tanks would be placed somewhere near the garden so that it would be watered by harvested water.
The project was launched together with an open space gym place in the department’s compound.