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Dikgatlhong dam to dry in four years

The country’s now biggest dam, Dikgatlhong, is feared will follow on the tracks of the now desiccated Gaborone dam in not more than four years, as the demand for water in the south is continually on the upsurge.

Dikgatlhong dam has a capacity of 400 million cubic metres and conduits water through the North South Carrier pipeline to the South of the country which is faced with outright scarcity of water coupled with deficiency of rainfall.

The South which comprises mostly Greater Gaborone areas was supplied by Gaborone dam, the second largest with a storage capacity of 141 million cubic meters, and Bokaa dam – both of which have deplorably and distinctly fell on the trap of dryness in a short spell albeit with little anticipation.

Due to the water demand’s incessantly upsurge, a source at the top echelons of power at Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has told Weekend Post this week that “Dikgatlhong dam should be sufficient enough to last for about 4 years.”

In fact, the immaculate source said of Dikgatlhong, and Letsibogo dam which is the third largest, holding a capacity of 100 million cubic metres, “4 years is too much bearing in mind the rate of demand, evaporation and poor rainfalls that has characterized the country’s meteorological landscape.”

Meanwhile, according to senior Meteorologist at Department of Meteorological Services (DMS), Esther Jansen, “Botswana is headed for the worst drought ever in 34 years as a debit in rainfall is projected over the coming season,” she has told a press conference earlier in September.

The highly placed source at WUC implicated that “obviously if we continue to draw water from the north dams without rain it’s going to be a disaster.” He added that it will be a dire situation especially because developments continue to grow hand in hand with water demand.

“This will be made worse and not helped by the much talked about Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) which is coming with more projects that will naturally need more water for implementation.”

Weekend Post turned up documents illustrating the dams’ drying rate which indicate that the prime Dikgatlhong dam was 91.6% by the 6th October 2014 but had tumbled to 77.6% a year later in October 2015 and the rate is expected to double in the coming year leading to depletion before 2020.

Another northern based dam, Letsibogo was 75.3% as at October last year, and the WUC documents further points out that a year later it recorded a low of 43.0% with a rather alarming rate of dehydration.

According to the official document, this is further exacerbated by the fact that there has been supply without inflow for a considerable period. For instance Letsibogo has had 12 months of supply without inflow, Shashe 20 months without influx while Ntimbale recorded 15 months in the same situation.

In addition, the two largest dams to date, Dikgatlhong and Letsibogo supply dominated populations of the Greater Gaborone area which include among others Gaborone, Lobatse, Mogoditshane Cluster, Ramotswa Cluster, Tlokweng and Mochudi. They also supply the major villages and towns of Serowe, Mahalapye, Palapye, Selibe Phikwe and Mmadinare.

Albeit with insignificant volumes, the other dams supplying the country include Thune, Lotsane, Ntimbale, Shashe and Molatedi (which has since also condensed its capacity). Dikgatlhong dam was constructed in 2008 at a cost of 1.2 billion and with a surface water scattering out unevenly for around 10 km or extra.

While the current average demand for Greater Gaborone area still stands at 125 Million litres (ML) a day, the rationed demand stands at 110 Million Litres (ML) on a daily basis. So the area’s average demand surpasses supply by 32.9 million litres a day even with rationing which still exceeds quantity by 17.9 million litres a day.

However, indications suggest that dikgatlhong and letsibogo dams are already being washed-out through NSC as a consequence of the National Water Master Plan whose main objectives were to “upgrade and extend water and wastewater services throughout the country.”

This was the first step to ensuring that water is properly positioned to meet the needs of the nation and its people. Efforts to reach WUC Corporate Communications Manager Matida Mmipi to solicit a comment on the matter drew blanks at the time of going to print.

The WUC official has expressed that the supply from the northern dams may stretch them further next year and hence their probability of drying out certainly.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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