Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Water shortage undermining backyard gardens in Maun

Many of the people who benefited from the backyard garden component of the alternative packages under the Social and Community Services(S&CD) are still trying hard to make ends meet. This is so because water scarcity issue in Maun has still not improved. Despite their land having been rehabilated and the nets put up they still cannot grow crops as there would be no water to keep them alive. It is however a blessing in disguise for those living in close vicinity to the Thamalakane river as they have now taken advantage of the free flowing water.
North West District Council Chairman Latlhang Molonda has said water shortage has for a long time now been a major setback to the success of these gardens, which in turn delays construction and delay of planting vegetables. He said despite challenges encountered during implementation, there are some areas in the poverty eradication programme which are starting to bear fruits in the district.
Deliberating at a full council meeting this week, Thito councilor Moedi Modiegi said people should be enrolled to undertake other means of alternative packages besides backyard gardening.
This he said was because rains are not very common in Maun. He said government should also be mindful when allocating projects countrywide and reflect on certain aspects which deny people in various areas the chance to take on projects designed for them, based on their natural vegetation. “Maun has for some time now been without water, and so it wouldn’t make sense to expect people to plough their gardens in the absence of water. The government is doing a commendable job by empowering these people, and so it wouldn’t be fair to make them look like failures at the end of the day”, he stated.
His sentiments were echoed by Matlapana councilor Tapoloso Mosika who said ever since Water Utilities took over from the Department of Water Affairs the supply of water in Maun has been quite a disaster.
Mosika said even the water bowsers which used to transport water to certain points in the village have since been stopped without explanation coming forth from WUC. As a result, people have resolved to drink direct raw water from the Thamalakane river. His suggestion was that the corporation should be followed up, and be shown the need to always provide feedback so that people may know what to expect.
Meanwhile the council chairman also said although the water shortage issue is understandable, councilors should take it upon themselves to educate the public on the dangers of using untreated water especially on the backdrop of recent diarrhea outbreak in the district.
“In an endeavor to control the outbreak, the Ngami District Health Team has measures in place and strongly urges the public to observe basic hygiene standards. Mothers and care givers are also requested to take children suspected to have diarrhea to the nearest health facility for basement or treatments so as to avoid re-infection”, said Molonda.

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