Botswana: Masisi Cautions On Water Usage

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Maunatlala — Residents of Maunatlala have been urged to ensure that the proposed horticulture project for the village did not compromise its potable water supply.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in the village October 14, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said even though the proposed Kobalemakabi horticultural project was intended to promote food production, water supply for human consumption superseded all other needs.

Considering that the project would draw water from Lotsane Dam, the only water for the community, Dr Masisi advised that a thorough assessment be carried out to establish the impact irrigation would have on the potable water supply.

He noted that the community had two ongoing agricultural development projects, the 250-hectare Kobalemakabi Cluster Project and the 80 hectares shared by the five villages of

Maunatlala, Seolwane, Mosweu, Mokokwane and Lesenepole.

"My worry is that both projects will draw water from Lotsane Dam which will likely result in shortage of water for human consumption," stated Dr Masisi.

The dam level was currently at 42 per cent while the nation was experiencing a dry season.

President however said food production was still important and applauded the projects as they were in line with government efforts to improve food production.

He said government had decided to improve ISPAAD by partnering with communities to ensure full utilisation of clustered fields.

The project will be piloted at Masunga, Mookane, Leshibitse and Malwelwe.

Earlier, VDC chairperson, Mr Opelo Keseme said the Lotsane Dam project was a package inclusive of a service road.

However, he said funds for the road were diverted to water the villages of Lecheng and Malaka, a development which Dr Masisi said was appropriate given the importance of water to human life.

In his welcome remarks, Kgosi Gobusamang Mapena decried shortage of transport at the kgotla.

He said the only vehicle available at the kgotla was a single cab bakkie.

He also requested air conditioning at the kgotla.

President Masisi announced that a double cab would immediately be availed for the kgotla while air conditioners would be installed by December.

On other matters, President Masisi relayed a message of condolences to the family of Ms Elizabeth Mapena, wife to assistant senior tribal authority, Kgosi Phoophoo Mapena of Maunatlala who died last month.

Source : BOPA

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