Botswana: Maun Water Crisis Needs Attention

Maun — The acute water shortage in Maun is exacerbated by frequent pipe leakages and breakdowns, says Maun West MP, Mr Dumelang Saleshando.

Addressing a press conference in Maun following stakeholder consultations and kgotla meetings in his constituency, Mr Saleshando said the water crisis needed urgent attention.

He said, as a result of leakages and dilapidated water pipes, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) was experiencing difficulties in meeting the demand

The water situation, he said, had negatively affected businesses, public offices, parastatals, schools and other institutions.

During his recent familiarisation tour of WUC, he said he was informed that the total demand for the whole village was 15 000 cubic metres and the corporation could only supply 800 cubic metres, which translated to 50 per cent.

This, he said, was worsened by the pipe leakages and breakdown noting that he learnt that 43 per cent of water was wasted through leakages underground.

Recently the corporation indicated that the water crisis in Maun was also worsened by the drying of the Thamalakane River, which led to halting of Borolong water treatment from operating.

"This situation is unbearable as the village cannot function because of the water crisis," he added. Mr Saleshando further said he had requested the corporation to organise a tour of their facilities in order to appreciate them.

Maun West legislator, who is also the Leader of Opposition, said that he visited Maun Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) where he learnt that the late payment of farmers was a serious concern.

He said he was informed that the abattoir took 90 days to pay farmers. However, He appreciated that despite late payments, BMC was paying better than private abattoirs.

He said farmers had resorted to sell their cattle at private abattoirs because of desperation and believed that if BMC could address the issue of delayed payment, the private abattoirs could adjust accordingly.

In addition, Mr Saleshando noted that farmers were crying foul because of the quarantine system as they feel that it was a cost to them.

He appreciated that lack of beef markets was a serious problem and stated that there was a need to look for alternative markets which pays equivalent to the European Union markets.

He also indicated the need to ensure Ngamiland was transited from red zone to green zone adding that the region had to graduate from red zone so that farmers benefit from their livestock.

Area MP also pointed out that he had met with officials from Khoemacu mine who indicated that the mine had employed 315 Batswana through the kgotlas, 180 from Ngamiland, 793 were from outside the district while 98 were from outside the country.

Mr Saleshando said there was still a concern from villagers regarding recruitment and that the mine was supplied with goods from outside the district.

He said when the mine was fully operational, he would ensure that it worked closely with the business community and villagers in terms of procurement goods.

Other issues that concerned the MP were poor infrastructure such as internal roads, high turnover of staff and poor performance of schools in his constituency as he indicated that there was no schools which had scored more than 40 per cent pass.

He associated poor results to shortage of resources in schools, shortage of classrooms adding that the education system was designed to produce Ds.

Source : BOPA

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