Botswana: Villages Put Hopes On Selebi Phikwe Water Reservoir

press release

The Selebi Phikwe water reservoir will in future provide water to Damochujenaa, Gojwane, Serule, Moreomabele and Topisi villages.

Addressing a kgotla meeting at Damochujenaa on January 8, Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the project to construct pipelines that would provide water to the villages was still at the planning stage.

He said a detailed design of the water pipeline network connecting the villages to the Selebi Phikwe reservoir would be completed in due time. He said consultants designing the project plan would consider factors such as population growth as well as expansion and development rate of the villages.

He noted that after the design stage, an environmental impact assessment study would be done after which the start of construction would be considered. The Vice President, also the MP for Mmadinare, said the plan to connect the villages to the Selebi Phikwe reservoir was long overdue.

However, he explained that the project had to be delayed to give way for investigations on where the pipeline should pass and how much water would be needed by the villages in future. "This is the reason why the project has not been implemented yet," said Dr Kedikilwe.

He also noted that the funds initially budgeted for the project would also change due to changes that would be made in the design of the project. The Vice President said construction was expected to commence in April and be completed in March 2015.

Dr Kedikilwe noted that water was a basic need and that it was important for all villages and settlements in Botswana to have clean running water. He also noted that Lotsane Dam provided portable water to Tamasane, Diloro, Kgagodi, Mogapi, Mogapinyana, Tobane and Tshokwe villages in the Mmadinare constituency while Robelela was connected to the Dikgatlhong Dam and Mmadinare to the Letsibogo Dam.

He said Foley got water from Shashe Dam. On other issues, Dr Kedikilwe encouraged residents of Damochujenaa to connect electricity in their homesteads.

He said although the village had been connected to the national grid, only a few people had connected electricity to their homes. He also encouraged residents to utilise government programmes such as the Poverty Eradication Programme, ISPAAD and Youth Empowerment Programme to uplift their livelihood.

He commended those who had already utilised the programmes to improve their living standard. For his part, Kgosi Phokontsi Seeletso of Mmadinare who is also member of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi encouraged the residents of Damochujenaa to live together in harmony and to avoid tribalism.

Kgosi Seeletso also urged cattle farmers to always herd their livestock to avoid a situation where they destroy peoples' field crops. Kgosi Motsholetsi Kebalipile of Damochujenaa called on residents of the village to move away from vandalising the fence erected along the railway line near Damochujenaa.

He said the fence was erected to prevent livestock from crossing over to the road that leads from Selebi Phikwe to Serule and cause accidents. Regarding complaints that people from outside Damochujenaa come to harvest mophane worms in the area he explained that they were allowed to do so as long as they had permits.

However, he requested that the Ministries of Wildlife and Tourism and Trade and Industry should stipulate the correct time for harvesting mophane worms as some people tend to harvest the worm when it had not matured enough.

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