Monday, April 19, 2021

Maun Water supply problems persist

Maun water supply problems still persist despite efforts by the Ministry of Water Affairs, Minerals and Energy Affairs to resolve it.

This is according to the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Potso Thari, who said that her Ministry has, in a bid to supply Maun with adequate water, set up a total of five treatment plants and 30 boreholes to cater for the Maun water demand (8319 m3/ day). She said that the treatment plants are located at Wenela and Thamalakane in Maun (1 treatment plant is located in Wenela and 4 portable treatment plants are located in Thamalakane Old DWA office). The boreholes are situated in 3 wellfields in:

? Shashe / Tsutsubega wellfield, consisting of 18 boreholes
? Kunyere wellfield, consisting of 7 boreholes but 4 were equipped
? Sexaxa wellfield, consisting of 5 boreholes

The total combined yield of these water sources, if all were operational, would be 12,722m3/day.
The Maun water demand stands at 8319 m3/day. As such, 12722 m3/day of developed water sources exceed the demand (8,319 m3/day) by 4403 m3/day.

Thari said that though a great effort has been made by the department to respond to the growing water demand in the village, all the efforts were reversed by recent flooding in the area.

She said that as a result of flooding, accessibility to the sources has been challenging. Out of 18 boreholes in Shashe, only eight boreholes are accessible, out of 7 boreholes in Kunyere only 4 were equipped and are accessible by boats and all-terrain vehicles; and out of five boreholes in Sexaxa, only two are currently accessible and operational. The total supply (from 12 operational boreholes and five treatment plants) of 7810 m3/day resulting in a deficit of 509 m3/day.

The Ministry said it is a huge deficit, considering the fact that Maun is operating at a marginal water supply.

On the overall water shortage problem in Maun, Thari said there is still a shortage of water in Maun as the village network covers only 65 percent of the village. (Boseja, Matshwane, Xabara, Disaneng and Botshabelo), adding that he production and demand rationalization is highly marginal as they continue giving service to new customers.

Limited water storage-current storage capacity is in the order of 5365 m3. The desired storage capacity is 16 638 m3.

She pointed out that if for some reason or the other they go through a normal operational hitch, like power failure, service of engines, cleaning of tanks, and major breakdowns, their water situation deteriorates and it takes time for the system to recover.

She said that the village has growing demands due to the Maun village expansion outside the network coverage, e.g. BHC recently connected 92 houses; the unexpected population growth at Maun Secondary School; the problems at Shakawe Secondary School.

Students admitted at Shakawe Secondary School have been relocated to Maun Secondary School. Also the continued breakdown of Maun BMC water treatment plant. Thari said that BMC is one of the high consumers and the initiative to have their own dedicated treatment plant was to relieve the already stressed water supply in Maun.

Further that the Department of Water Affairs in the village has added responsibilities to supply other villages under the North West District Council mandate.

The villages being supplied by the Department of Water Affairs are Tsau, Matapana, Chanoga, Matsaudi, Sexaxa and the Okavango Research Centre.

Because of the heavy demand of water, she said that operating equipment like treatment plants and borehole pumps operate beyond factory recommended hours leading to persistent breakdowns.
She also said that they face difficulties in monitoring boreholes in the flood plains at night due to associated risks.

Asked what they are doing to resolve the challenges outlined above, she explained that the challenges are being addressed on a continuous basis.

The long term solution for Maun water problems will be dealt with during the design of the Maun Water and Sanitation Phase II Project.

Currently, the Consultancy tenders were closed on 30th May 2012. The design is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Construction is expected to take three years.

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