Amidst the scorching heat and seemingly hopeless dreams of any rain drops, from nowhere rains have started to soak up the sun-scorched plains of Botswana with assuring consequences, at lest for now.
For the thirsty greater Gaborone region, the Bokaa Dam has found drops enough to quench the thirst for 10 months, as the Metsimotlhabe River experienced a rare moment of flooding beyond its banks, resulting in the current dam level of Bokaa, just outside Gaborone. Even though Gaborone Dam is as usual taking long to respond, nearby, the Nywane Dam has also filled to more than 69%, guaranteeing supply of water for more than 10 months. This past week, news of more rain north of the country have also been music to the ears, as hopefully the country’s bigger dams of Shashe, Letsibogo, Ntimbale, Lotsane, will continue to fill up. However it is also strange that two of the country’s northern dams, Thune Dam in Bobirwa and Dikgathong Dam, are still not being utilised. The Water Utilities Corporation continue to indicate in their weekly updates that they are not pumping water from Dikgathong and Thune Dams. For the record, Dikgathong Dam, built on the Motloutse River, has a 400 mcm, and is currently at 75%. Its water, along with the Thune Dam, is lost to evaporation. At a time when water scarcity is a huge challenge, it is embarrassing to still note that despite all these challenges, two big dams are not pumping at all.
BOPEU should continue to serve members
The largest public sector union, BOPEU, hosts their elective Congress in Palapye this week, whose highlights will be the election of the new office bearers.BOPEU has indeed been exemplary when it comes to the core mandate of serving the workers. The Union has gone even beyond the normal call of duty, beyond trade union politicking, to making the workers’ social upliftment issues, a core mandate.
BOPEU members continue to benefit from low interest rates of 2.5% in micro-financing. They are now being assisted with P1,000 in a bid to inculcate the culture of saving. Through BOPEU’s bank, SACCOS, they have Bursaries Fund for the workers. Recently a housing scheme for the workers was also unveiled. The housing project that costs P225 million will see BOPEU members owning homes for twice and thrice below the market price.We can only call upon BOPEU to do more, for they have set the standard for themselves. This is what we will judge them with, going forward. Although they employ 61 staff members, including the whole elected executive committee who also then becomes full time employees, the issue of earning hefty salaries for themselves, has not crept into BOPEU, and we hope the status quo prevails for the long haul.