Botswana: Northern Dams to Supply Country

press release

The Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has expressed satisfaction with water levels for dams in the northern part of the country. However, he said the situation in the south was a cause for concern.

In an interview during a tour of Thune Dam on January 12, Dr Kedikilwe said he was happy that Dikgatlhong, Lotsane, Letsibogo and Thune dams were filling up following recent rains in their catchment areas. He said dams in the south remained dry or with little water due to low rainfall. The Vice President was on a tour of the facilities to assess the water situation in the country. He said when building dams in the northern part of the country, government took into consideration the fact that the north, unlike the south had big rivers which could feed into dams.

The Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has expressed satisfaction with water levels for dams in the northern part of the country.

However, he said the situation in the south was a cause for concern. In an interview during a tour of Thune Dam on January 12, Dr Kedikilwe said he was happy that Dikgatlhong, Lotsane, Letsibogo and Thune dams were filling up following recent rains in their catchment areas.

He said dams in the south remained dry or with little water due to low rainfall. The Vice President was on a tour of the facilities to assess the water situation in the country. He said when building dams in the northern part of the country, government took into consideration the fact that the north, unlike the south had big rivers which could feed into dams.

Dr Kedikilwe stated that water, like minerals, was a natural resource that government determined must be shared by all citizens and not enjoyed only by those people in whose area the resource was found.

He explained that the pipeline from Dikgatlhong Dam to Palapye, which will feed the southern part of the country was under construction. The Dikgatlhong and the existing Letsibogo pipelines run parallel to and complemented each other during breakdowns, he said.

He stated that government was doing its best to address the water situation in the country and noted the Tswapong area was already enjoying portable water from Lotsane Dam, which also had satisfactory water levels. He explained only Moremi could not be supplied because it was not yet electrified.

The Vice President further stated that government was also in the process of importing water from Lesotho via a pipeline to ensure a steady supply of portable water. He said Thune Dam would open other opportunities such as cultural tourism and fishing for nearby communities.

Dr Kedikilwe applauded Batswana workers and engineers who ensured that mega projects such as dams were completed within schedule and budget. He also thanked Batswana for their understanding and cooperation in making way for developments.

He cited families in Thune who allowed for graves of their ancestors and loved ones to be exhumed and relocated to pave way for the dam. Water affairs projects deputy director, Mr Thatayaone Dedede told the Vice President that water treatment plant at the dam would commence in April and five citizen companies would participate in the construction.

Mr Dedede said water level at Thune Dam was at 33 per cent or about 628 metres high. He said the pipeline to water villages in the Bobirwa area would take 24 months to complete. Villages that will be connected included Mathathane, Tsetsebye, Bobonong, Mabolwe, Semolale, Gobojango, Moletemane, Molalatau, Lepokole, Mothabaneng with other villages expected to get water within 16 months.

Mr Dedede said agriculture was also a beneficiary of the dam as 11 Kilometres of the pipeline had been reserved for horticulture. Thune dam has a carrying capacity of 90 million cubic metres and was constructed by Chinese company Zhong Gan at a cost of P650 million. It was completed in April 2013. ENDS

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