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WUC courts Govt, World Bank for funds

It will be a long time before the beleaguered Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) puts an end to the water crisis bedeviling the country. The corporation is having a hard time with funds, and the water shortage situation may not improve if envisaged projects are not urgently funded.   


WeekendPost has established that the WUC has an array of projects which are crucial for water security which may not see the light of day due to lack of funds. This publication has gathered that the corporation is currently cajoling government, in particular the principals, Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to engage in possible avenues of sourcing funds.


The corporation last week presented to Minister of MMEWR, Kitso Mokaila, a list of projects that the country needs to curtail the water crisis currently threatening the economy of the country albeit limited funds. “We have been asked to submit to government the needs of water and waste water supply in the country. It’s for the government to determine where funds can come from, either from within the country coffers or lenders,” a highly placed source in the WUC executive stated.


“We don’t have financial capacity to implement the projects but they are very important,” he said. The water situation in Botswana has worsened, especially in the Southern part of the country; and consumers have been subjected to water rationing for the past few months. This notwithstanding, parliament this week rejected a motion by Gaborone North legislator Haskins Nkaigwa calling for an investigation into the water (and power) crises currently bedeviling the country.


According to the WUC decision-making official, the organization budgetary funds fall short of implementing all the projects in the pipeline, and therefore, apart from government they can look to other avenues to source funds like the World Bank.

“I don’t expect government to have all the money. There are many sources of funding that can be explored. But the problem is if you borrow money from sources of funding you must be able to repay the loan. WUC does not have the financial capacity to do so,” he pointed out.


Meanwhile WUC Chief Executive Officer Leonard Nxumalo could not be reached for comment. However, it is understood that the World Bank had a delegation in the country a fortnight ago but due to the continuing discussion between WUC, MMEWR and MFDP, the parties had not taken a decision over on the matter.


According to the immaculate source at WUC, “The World Bank, was here two weeks ago and they are prepared to give us the money, but we can’t just say give us the money, government has to exercise some financial prudence in borrowing. However government needs to prioritize in terms of their capacity to borrow. They should look at the threshold to make sure the country does not end up drowned in debt like Greece.”


Information reaching the Weekend Post also suggests that “so far our country has done well as the credit funding of the country is doing well. So the money funders are ready to give the country money as they see the country as credit worthy.” This publication is in possession of a list of the mammoth projects that are categorised into sections needing funds and those whose funds are readily available.  


PROJECTS THAT NEED FUNDING
According to WUC projects progress updates as at 30 June 2015, which was presented to Minister Mokaila, close to fifty mega projects, priced from millions to billions need funding.  Some of the projects includes Gaborone Waste Water Reclamation Project which is estimated at the tune of 450 million.


In addition the Selibe Phikwe – Serule Water Transmission Pipeline to Interconnection needs 180 million which is not available for the project to commence. Boteti Southern and Central Cluster water supply project also need 200 million to be implemented.


Furthermore, Gantsi Township Meriting Phase II projects and Water Network rehabilitation have no funds, both require 80 million to be kick started. Other projects that still have no funding includes a project involving Upgrading of the Sepopa and Gumare Slow Sand Filtration plant which amounts to 75 million.


The Upgrading of Evaporation Ponds, Rehabilitation of Treatment Plant, upgrading of 160mm uPVC Diameter Transmission mains to 200mm Diameter as well as Letlhakane Waste Water Project will need 50 million.

PROJECTS CURRENTLY BEING IMPLEMENTED
The projects whose funds are readily available and are being implemented include the upgrading of Mmamashia water treatment plant which requires expansion. The Mmamashia to Gaborone WTW transmission pipeline upgrading also has funds. They are both funded under North South carrier 2 and estimated at 300 million. According to the projects progress update, the Project has money readily available and organizations are yet to tender and commence detailed work on it.


The Palapye Water Treatment Plant, also under the North South carrier 2 is among the projects with ready funding. There is also the Masama East which is 100 kilometers from Gaborone, enroute to Francistown. As at end of June, 32 boreholes were already developed at the project area and will inject 30 million litres per day into North South carrier.


An additional 30 million liters per day is also expected in the Masama West project in which boreholes will be cut and necessary works done. A 100km pipeline from Masama to Mmamashia will also be constructed within a year with a bypass from Mmamashia to Gaborone also being built as back up. Funding is available from MMEWR for the project expected to cost 250 million.


Funds are also available for the Mambo Waste Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation justified for environmental compliance at 40 million. The plant is not functioning well as it disposes waste into the environment. The river feeds directly to Dikgatlhong dam and the water eventually ends up in Gaborone.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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