The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has given assurance that the Water Sector Reform Programme has no other alternative but to be a success. This he said was because they are dealing with water, an essential substance of life. The programme is scheduled to be complete by 2014.
Speaking at the Water Utilities Corporation 5th Conference, Kedikilwe said notwithstanding the serious problems being faced by water sector reforms, the problems are not insurmountable and, overtime, they will be overcome.
He said having one water service delivery authority will not only ensure the reduction of water authorities but will promote uniform levels of service throughout the country.
“This will bring an end to the perception that only those in towns get better quality water and a more efficient water service,” he said.
In addition, he said they are also concentrating on improving water quality, especially in the villages, and the west of the country.
“These efforts include investing in the latest technologies such as reverse osmosis and desalination technologies,” he said.
Kedikilwe noted that water security remains at the top of government agenda. “We continue to negotiate with other countries in the region to be able to benefit from water courses in the region and Lesotho could supply from their highlands project.”
He said WUC anticipates taking over water service delivery to all urban centers and villages in Botswana as well as wastewater management by 2014.
To date water utilities has taken over water service delivery to 318 of the 540 villages and wastewater in all towns and cities as well as about 156 villages.
Kedikilwe said since we live in a drought prone country, it is imperative for the government to implement sound policies that guide the management of water resources throughout the country to ensure that water is accessible to all.
Due to the extreme water scarcity, water losses are a general concern for WUC, as they cause serious water shortage and financial losses. Water loss in the country is currently standing at 14 percent.
Kedikilwe reminded consumers that provision of water does not come cheap thus the consumers should pay to ensure sustainability.