Government and the agency it mandated to purvey water, the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC), will by necessity take the harshest criticism around the growing supply crisis in the southeast.
Ever since the corporation’s establishment 45 years ago, Batswana have increased their reliance on the water grid and in the absence of restrictions on usage, have developed wasteful and careless attitudes for a resource the country is perennially in need of.
Last month, Bokaa Dam also gave up the ghost and on October 1, according to an article elsewhere in this edition, South Africa could cut Greater Gaborone off from Molatedi Dam supplies.
Government and the WUC are by necessity receiving harsh criticism, with some accusing authorities of myopic planning, tardy decision-making, imprudent procurement and failing to appreciate the gravity of the situation. In as much as this criticism is valid, it does not absolve consumers from the key and critical role in the resolution of this crisis.
After all, the WUC does not financially benefit from the development and maintenance of water infrastructure or conveyance of water, as it actually incurs losses per litre due to the non-cost reflective tariff. Even as government fast-tracks various initiatives to bring stability of supply to Greater Gaborone, the long-term solution lies in the hands of consumers.
Simple lifestyle changes such as greywater reuse, to mending leaks in the home and reporting leaks and bursts everywhere, will go a long way.
At present, for every litre pumped into Gaborone, 330 millilitres is lost in the system, due mainly to leaks, which can be prevented by vigilance among consumers. This vigilance should also extend to alerting authorities whenever we see others breaking the water restrictions or engaging in wasteful behaviour.
We turned deaf ears to the ‘Botswana Wa Kgala’ and ‘Somarela Thothi’ campaigns. We cannot afford to ignore where we are now- at the cliff.
Public facilities should honour icons
The recent naming of the new stadium in the north as the Francistown Sports Complex is a failure in creativity and the ability by those in authority to suitably honour national icons. Like the equally mundane New Lobatse Stadium, the naming of Francistown Sports Complex betrays the lack of either imagination or originality within our authorities and a failure to properly honour our icons. In other parts of the world, each public institution proudly bears the name of a national icon, as a way of preserving history and instilling both pride and inspiration in generations to come.
If we do not tell our own history, we should not complain when others distort or bend it for their own purposes.
“We must do this for the simple reason that
a nation without a past is a lost nation,
and a people without a past
is a people without a soul.”
–Sir Seretse Khama