Plans underway to address water crises in the south
In the wake of water scarcity, the government is planning on constructing a Gaborone Water Supply Master Plan (North South Carrier 2.4) that will help curb the water shortage especially in the Southern part of the country.
According to confidential documents passed to the Weekend Post, the master plan will cover the provision of required infrastructure for the greater Gaborone to meet the water demand up to the year 2035 by providing adequate infrastructure including pipelines, pump stations and reservoirs.
Greater Gaborone areas which include Gaborone, Ramotswa, Goodhope, Molapowabojang, Lobatse, Mogoditshane, Tlokweng, Mochudi, Kanye and others is most adversely affected by the water deficiency in the republic. In recognition of this, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has devised a plan comprising of projects to arrest the water scarcity situation.
The project was influenced by the pre-investment study which was carried out between April 2013 and June 2014 awarded P4, 699, 440. 91. However delays due to finalization of designs will result in the project taking time before it’s realized.
In addition, the government also has plans for the Lobatse water supply master plan which will be divided into three contracts which include the construction of pipelines, reservoirs, pump stations and telemetry installation.
Although WUC still faces challenges of funding for the projects, tenders were submitted on 27 February 2015 and Tender Evaluation has been completed in relation to the project.
Ever since its construction, North South carrier (NSC) (I) has been troubled by ineffective and unreliable pumps which were becoming old and dilapidated and therefore its dependability to augment water supply to greater Gaborone area was to a larger extent uncertain.
The belief is that: “after completion of NSC, about 40% of water from NSC will be transferred either to Gaborone waterworks for treatment or Gaborone dam for storage,” states the WUC document.
Another project, NSC 2.3 will include raw water transfer scheme from Mmamashia to Gaborone dam/waterworks. “Consultancy services for the design and tender documentation for the raw water transfer scheme from Mmamashia to Gaborone waterworks and Gaborone dam was conducted,” and “permission to tender and terms of reference are still being prepared for the project.”
WUC is also planning to construct Goodhope sub-district water supply augmentation scheme phase 2.1 which entails the conveyance of water from an existing 8700m3 reservoir situated at Mogodi hill in Gathwane to Pitsane village. According to the documents, villages to benefit from this scheme are Tlhareseleele, Bethel, Dinatshana and Pitsane-Potlokwe.
The water situation in Botswana has become a contentious issue in the national discourse and ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members of Parliament thwarted all efforts by opposition Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) legislators to discuss the motion on dire water (and power) crises currently sweeping across the country.
As the parastatal responsible for water provision to the populace, the corporation finds itself between a rock and a hard place as some projects go un-implemented due to limited funds. In addition observers say WUC also lacks capacity and human resource to implement their projects, and with all the projects in the line, it is still unclear whether the corporation will ever attain water security.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.