The multimillion pula Gaborone integrated sewer system is underutilised as only 2,321 households of the targeted 8,557 have so far been connected to the sewer line.
This was revealed by Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila in parliament last week when responding to a question from Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa, who had wanted to know the number of households that are currently connected to the sewer line. Nkaigwa also wanted to know how many households are yet to be connected and what was causing the delay in connecting the households.
Mokaila explained that the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has addressed several kgotla meetings to discuss the issue, at which it emerged that the high costs associated with internal plumbing of residents’ houses before they can connect to the sewer network was the main hindrance and cause of delays in connecting customers to the network. In an effort to encourage customers to connect, said Mokaila, WUC is now offering customers an option to pay for connection in installments.
“However, connection will only be done after completion of payment,” he said.
He added that his Ministry does not have funds to assist residents with connection. However, the Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) under the Ministry of Local Government offers a special dispensation under which residents can get loans to carry out improvements on their properties. The integrated sewage system was built after realisation that pit latrines were polluting the underground water table.