BY PORTIA NKANI
Junior Minister at Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services – Itumeleng Moipisi has outlined to the national assembly this week that the growing demand of water across the country continues to stretch resources requiring identification of additional resources and ensuring water security.
Moipisi told Parliament that water supply still remains a challenge throughout the country even after extensive investment in water resources and infrastructure development.
Secondly, Moipisi revealed to Parliament that, most of the secondary infrastructure supplied by the dams and major pipelines are inadequate and dilapidated as they have exceeded their design life. “These result in restricted distribution of water from the dams to specific villages. This is the case in areas like the North East and Francistown where some villages experience shortages whilst supplied from Ntimbale and Shashe respectively. Most villages’ network distributions are overgrown by village expansion resulting in built up areas without reticulation.”
The ministry is currently implementing National Development Plan projects (NDP 10, NDP 11 and Botswana Emergency Water Security and Efficiency Projects, that is; World Bank funded- aimed at addressing challenges of water supply country wide.
Reliable water supply to South East District (excluding Tlokweng) is expected in May 2019 after the completion of the Design, Construction and Commissioning of Ramotswa Treatment Plant Project. The project which was initially planned for beneficial use by March 2019 but he said it experienced further delays due to delivery of wrong pump station roof sheets. The scheme covers Ramotswa Cluster which includes Taung, Boatle, Otse, Mogobane, Mogonye, Manyana and Mmankgodi.
According to the assistant minister, the plant is expected to be connected to the Ramotswa Wellfields to treat water from polluted boreholes and produce 8, 000 kilolitres/day. The current supply status for the cluster is at 9,325 kilolitres/day versus demand of 10,711 kilolitres/ day; therefore, the plant will produce excess of approximately 7,000 kilolitres/day which will be used to augment Lobatse water supply.
Parliament also learnt that, Water Utilities Corporations has limitations that result in challenged performance to carry out the mandate of providing water to homesteads. In light of the challenges, the Ministry has allocated funding towards restructuring of the Corporation, which will address issues of; Skills alignments and Recruitment; Customer focused; and Credit worthiness.
Globally, climate variability has created disparity between abundant surface water sources and water high demands areas; therefore, calling for long transfer pipelines for the country to be sustainable is water supply to its citizens.