The nation has no sight of sign of relieve as the water crisis that is currently sweeping across the country may take a while before it comes to normal.
WeekendPost has established that the water rationing is expected to stay aput even into the near future unless the country experiences uncommon heavy rains.
Following Gaborone and Bokaa dams drying up completely, “rationing will continue for a while unless we have a good rain,” a highly placed source in the Management of Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) told this publication.
The Corporation, this publication has gathered that, it’s so desperate that, at least for now, it looks up to only rain to manage the water catastrophe. Some projects that are lined-up could not proceed as there are no sufficient funds. Until that time, WUC has confirmed that water rationing will linger on.
“It’s tough but will get over the water crisis if we get good rains,” the WUC official maintained. He said the sources of water supplying the country especially the south part are not sufficient.
Currently, the water crisis is much felt in Greater Gaborone which is dependent on North South Carrier (NSC 1) which transport raw water from Dikgatlhong Dam in the north to the southern part of the country to augment supply. Notwithstanding, NSC could not meet water demand in the south.
NSC is complemented by Molatedi dam is South Africa which only supplies 4.8 liters per day instead of 10liters/day therefore in 50% deficit. In addition Nnywane dam supplies only 2.3 million litres per day, while Masama and Ramotswa Wellfields supplies 20 and 5 million liters per day respectively – way less than the current demand of 125 million litres per day.
This publication understands that water rationing was implemented to cushion the water calamity and, executed at a time when Gaborone dam was about dry up and subsequent to its desiccation. It then intensified last month (August 1) and it’s said to remain as thus until heavy rains surface, God willing.
Update on the water crunch
According to an official update by WUC that was shared with Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water resources (MMEWR) Kitso Mokaila, in Gaborone water supply in across Gaborone (Greater Gaborone) is considered stable with rationing to schedule. “Gaborone water supply remains stable across the city except isolated cases.”
The general water supply is progressing well with slow recovery realized in the Mogoditshane and Tlokweng cluster. In Gabane WUC says supply resumed early hours on Thursday and unfortunately the transmission main failed hence water supply halted. The village then started receiving supply yesterday (Friday).
The update also indicate that water pumping to Tlokweng is ongoing, though with a single pump which is not able to saturate the whole village. In light of the limitation isolation was made at the main reservoir to regulate supply hence areas are expected to start saturating. The current storage attained of 20% is expected to be opened on a controlled supply zone by zone. In fact they stated that “Tlokweng was saturated across village with only 5% remaining without supply after peak.”
Pressure drops are also said to be recognized in Mogoditshane as all focus is put to sustain supply to Mmopane and metsimotlhabe. In view that WUC have to sustain both Tlokweng and Lobatse it has been difficult to maintain uninterrupted pumping to Diremogolo. On average, they point out that pumping is stopped for approximately an hour to build storage at the collector station thus facilitating for pumping to Diremogolo.
In Metsimotlhabe, supply for the areas was said to have opened this morning and the system will build -up pressure during the day and close to full saturation expected late in the evening should supply to Forest hill be maintained. In addition, supply to Lobatse was maintained with a single pump and in Mochudi it started yesterday.
As the areas continue to experience low pressure to no water supply in the country, the water rationing is expected to be implemented as per schedule and even outside the rationing schedule in some cases.
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.