Thursday, December 3, 2020

WUC COULD RESORT TO WATER RATIONING AS DUST SETTLES ON THE P900 MILLION TENDER

Following the failure to secure funding for the much taunted Masama-Mmamashia pipelines project, national water carrier – Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has said that it will have no option but to ration water amongst the thousands users in the greater Gaborone areas.

The corporation says the recent connection of villages such as Moshupa, Thamaga, Kaye and Molepolole to the NSC supply-line has pushed the water supply deficit to 49 ml/day.

The demand for water by the greater Gaborone areas without the four villages is pegged at 145ml/day but its addition to the North-South Carrier pipes pushes it 179ml/day. On the supply side, the area receives 130 ml/day from dams located in the northern part of the country through the North – South Carrier pipelines.

“Without this pipeline here we are going to have to see how to contend with this deficit. The only option that we have now is to ration the greater Gaborone area”, says WUC Chief Executive – Gasennelwe Senai.

Senai says following the failure to source funding for the project, the next step would be to wait for the next session of parliament to try their luck again.

“But between now and then, we will resort to water rationing”, added Senai.

The Water Utilities Corporation, under the reviewed National Water Master Plan of 2006, took over water service delivery to all urban centres and villages in Botswana as well as wastewater management, which is extended to 2014.

In 2015 the corporation made a proposal to the parent ministry to kick start the Masama-Mmamashia pipeline project on emergency basis. The efforts however hit a snag after it was clear that the parent ministry had prioritised other developmental projects.

WUC says the Masama-Mmamashia pipeline project was then shelved because the ministry was more inclined to other projects including NSC II and Mmamashia water treatment plant expansion.

The Mmamashia water treatment plant which was also meant to improve the water supply was however stalled in December following the termination of contract by WUC.

“We awarded the water treatment plant tender in December 2018 but soon went to litigation after we terminated the contract following advice to do so for national security reasons”, Senai said.

He explained that when the water treatment plant project was stopped the corporation was then forced to reconsider the Masama-Mmamashia pipeline project still under “emergency” status.

The WUC management then approached its board to kick start the process of sourcing funds for the Masama-Mmamashia pipeline project in May 2019. Fast forward to July 3, 2019 after cabinet gave the corporation green light, WUC then gave a notice to the bidder – Khato Civils a conditional award of the project “subject to availability of funds”.

By August 2019, when the process to source funds reached parliament the line between truth and lies had become so murky that opponents of the project resorted to paltering.

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.