Botswana: Boteti Southern Water Project to Commence in 2020

Letlhakane — The Boteti southern water cluster project is scheduled to commence in March 2020 following the re-designing of the project to meet the requirements of the sponsor.

Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Kefentse Mzwinila said during a kgotla meeting in Rakops recently that the project was expected to cost P360 million.

He said the delay was because the initial design did not conform to World Bank requirements, which is the sponsor.

He also attributed the delay to some complaints regarding issues of environmental and social impact assessment.

However, Mr Mzwinila made the residents aware that appointing a contractor to undertake the project might also lead to some delays, noting that 50 per cent of water projects were before courts due to complaints lodged by tenderpreneurs.

He said government's intention was to supply the public with quality water, as such, the physical, chemical, appearance and microbiological analysis of water was made to test if it was good for human consumption.

He explained that potable water was supposed to be odourless, citing that Boteti southern water cluster project would address Rakops' smelly water issue through the establishment of a treatment plant in Mokobaxane.

Further, Mr Mzwinila stated that water equipment such as pipes, reservoirs and pump stations were dilapidated due to elephant destruction.

He said the ministry had employed some methods of ensuring the protection of equipment such as fencing of reservoirs, noting that large amounts of money that could have been spent on the development of other projects was spent on equipment maintenance.

On land issues, Mr Mzwinila said design and layout of plots came at a high cost as it covered servicing and compensation of plot owners, citing that funds permitting government's aim was to service all plots.

He indicated that computerisation of land certificates had delayed allocation of new certificates with a lease.

In addition, the minister implored the residents to develop allocated land, saying there was a large number of petrol stations' plots allocated alongside Rakops-Maun road, but none of them had been developed.

Mr Mzwinila was responding to the Village Development Committee chairperson, Ms Bashingi Boingotlo, who had requested progress update on Boteti Southern Water Cluster project.

Ms Boingotlo also complained that land allocation in Rakops had since been on hold and also expressed concern that they had since been promised new certificates with leases.

She requested that all plots should be serviced before allocation.

Ms Boingotlo also complained that public standpipes were dysfunctional and private water connections took long to effect after payment.

In response, Water Utilities Corporation chief operating director, Mr Matthews Sebina admitted to the shortage of water in the village, saying it was supplied by only three boreholes together with other villages on its peripheries.

Procurement of parts and equipment for installation of public standpipes, he said, was underway, adding that exorbitant water bills were caused by leakage of pipes and dripping taps.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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