Mmegi Blogs :: Waterless Molepolole – But Only Half the Story
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Friday 23 February 2018, 16:09 pm.
Waterless Molepolole – But Only Half the Story

I read the three reports of The Midweek Sun (17.1.18) about the water situation in Molepolole with a mix of alarm, dismay and incredulity.
By Sandy Grant Mon 22 Jan 2018, 17:49 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Waterless Molepolole – But Only Half the Story

In sum, it seems that Molepolole, with a population of 67,000 is without water and has been without since at least 2011 when the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) took over from the Department of Water Affairs.

But if this is correct, it would appear that only few construction projects could have been undertaken in those five years!

The hapless spokesperson for the WUC explained that their storage tanks are small, that Molepolole has grown rapidly, the pipes are old and leaking and key boreholes have dried up.

 He explained that the Molepolole, Thamaga, Thebephatshwa Cluster demand exceeds supply. What happened to Gabane? This is a very puzzling comment.

If Molepolole gets little or no water from the WUC, it must mean that Thamaga and Thebephatshwa get the lot. But is this really so? Surely demand can only exceed supply if there is an insufficiency of water at source? But is that the case?

The inclusion of Thamaga in a Molepolole cluster puzzles me. Why would it not have a direct connection with Gaborone?

Why would it obtain its supply in such a circular fashion?  Perhaps the answer is for the Sun to go to Thamaga and Thebephatshwa and find out what is happening there.

The Sun’s reporters traversed Molepolole and described a desperately awful situation. In one of its reports, the Sun described how the remarkable Geil Stroh is using the borehole in his own yard – which has not dried up – to provide Molepolole people with 230,000 litres of water a day which it states is enough to assist 80% of the population.

In other words, one Good Samaritan with a decent borehole is effectively doing the WUC’s job even with its considerable resources of staff and budget.

Is his the only working borehole in Molepolole? But what happens with the other 20% of the population which gets nothing from either the WUC or Mr Stroh - which has to mean that the WUC is, in fact, providing Molepolole with no water at all.

But there are all sorts of problems about these three reports. For a start, we have to accept that for at least the last five years, the entire system of local government, Chief, District Commissioner, Council with the two MPs has been unable to effect even the slightest improvement.  Why have they, individually and collectively failed to release public statements and kept repeating them until change was achieved? But then why would all of them have failed to draw in


the media, and to use it to help publicise its plight? 

Then again, it would be logical to believe that the Livingstone hospital, the clinics, Kgari Sechele Secondary school and the JC and primary school have all had to close down. But have they? Even without their closure, the implication of a waterless and toiletless Molepolole is that scabies has reached epidemic proportions as with other fly born diseases. But has this happened? But if people cannot wash, scabies is almost unavoidable. 

I try to follow the news and surely someone would have told me (and the government) that for some time now Facebook and Twitter have been red hot with complaints from Molepolole residents about their plight.

Or did they opt to suffer in silence? It’s all very weird. The Economic Stimulus Package together with the Constituency Development Fund would have given Molepolole a huge amount of cash.  

What did it do with it all if none of it went to alleviating the water problem? There may have been other needed non-construction projects but there can be no greater priority than water. So, what happened?

But even with leaking pipes, dried up boreholes and storage tanks that are too small – why were they ever installed? – why would Molepolole be so dry when the nearby Gaborone and Bokaa Dams are full? Or do places such as Molepolole, Thamaga and Moshupa get their water from Mmamashia and not from those dams?

Casting further afield we can only wonder how the Molepolole situation relates to the National Water Policy which seems like an admirable document although words are merely words. But if we are all to be totally confused try the Malwelwe well field where the WUC’s Communications Manager explained that the WUC equipped six boreholes in 2013 – ‘but then the country was hit by drought.’

Switch to the WUC’s General Manager who said that ‘they recently received funds from the World Bank and will use it to connect six boreholes in Malwelwe.

How many times have these six boreholes to be equipped? And why did the WUC have to wait for World Bank funds when the government had previously made such large quantities of cash available for such needs? And then there is the ugly possibility, as has been suggested in the Sun reports, that the government is making Molepolole pay for its current political allegiance. But let’s set aside this possibility as being too horrific to be true. 


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