Wednesday, October 20, 2021

World Bank Approves $145.5 million to improve water availability in Botswana

The World Bank has approved a loan amounting to a total sum of $145.5 million to the republic of Botswana .The loan approval that took place last week Wednesday is for the emergency water security and efficiency project.

The World Bank country director Paul Noumba said this week that the project will help Botswana cope with increased water stress arising from numerous factors such as chronic draught.

 “The proposed measure is therefore critical for the sustainable development of the country, particularly given current climate change projects”

The project is said to have been prepared in response to the EL-Nino related drought that was from 2015-2016 as it was rated to be a severe one in the last thirty four years .Though the droughts are said to be chronic  ,the 2015-17 drought worsen the situation further as the fragile water balance tremendously decreased .

Until recently, the infrastructural faults of North South Carrier (NSC) pipe line coupled with the prolonged dry season caused a significant decline in the water levels of dams. However recent rains, have since restored water levels of most of the dams to over 100 percent. 

On Wednesday, the World Bank task team leader, Mukami Kariuki said “while the recent rains have alleviated the dry condition faced over the past 3 years, due to low recharge rates, ground water levels will take several years to recover”. Kariuki continued to say the project is to facilitate the government ongoing efforts to combine and manage surface and ground water resource more effectively

Sunday Standard has been informed that the aim of the upcoming project is to improve the availability of water supply in most affected areas as well as to strength waste management in certain systems. The loan facility is also expected to better the operational efficiency of the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) which is reportedly cash stripped.

It is said that an estimate of 460,000 people in selected settlement are to benefit from the rehabilitation of the existing water supply system and 177,000 people roughly will benefit from the improved waste water treatment management system. 

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