Production at Botswana Meat Commission (BMC)’s Maun abattoir has been greatly affected by water shortages occasioned by the drying up of Thamalakane River.
Plant manager at the Maun abattoir, Oabona Ramotshwana revealed during an interview with The Telegraph that they have not closed down the abattoir completely, but have greatly reduced production because of serious water shortages in Maun and surrounding areas. He explained that the Maun abattoir has all along been drawing water from the nearby Thamalakane River, which was later treated at the in-house treatment plant. However, the Thamalakane River has since dried up as the last supply of 150 cubic meters was delivered last week Tuesday. However, the supply was not enough to satisfy production, as the Maun abattoir uses at least 450 cubic metres of water per day.
“This whole situation has put us in a very precarious position. We have had to scale down on production because we couldn’t slaughter continuously as we used to,” he said.
He further explained that there are currently close to 250, 000 cattle at the Makalamabedi quarantine awaiting slaughter, adding that he wasn’t sure if BMC will be able to meet the demand.
“Because of the current situation, we have resorted to slaughtering the cattle in two slots of 100 per day. We slaughtered the first batch last week Thursday and the second batch will be slaughtered on Tuesday,” he said.
In the meantime, Ramotshwana said they will depend on Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) for water supplies since the Thamalakane River has dried up. As a long term plan, Ramotshwana said they have applied for water rights at the Tawana Landboard.
“However, WUC has told us in no uncertain terms that their priority lies with providing water to the people and not the BMC or any other organization. This therefore compels us to speed up things and ensure that our borehole becomes operational. We have already started receiving quotations from drilling companies,” he said.