The pipeline moving southwards

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With Independence achieved nearly 50 years ago it is worth pausing a moment to reflect about water, a prosaic subject for many and one that until recently had almost completely fallen off the popular agenda.

Water came out of the tap when required, flush loos never dried up and swimming pools were never empty. But let’s consider a moment. Fifty years ago there could have been only a handful of homes in the entire country which enjoyed a piped water supply, and they would have been in Gaborone and Francistown. In the larger settlements elsewhere, people relied for their water supply on boreholes whilst the smaller villages were dependent on springs, pools, pans and small hand made dams. 

A village such as Odi obtained its first borehole only in 1973/4 when the Weaving project was established. It was a norm which had been established over several hundred years, that people, at no cost, went to the water. Within one person’s lifetime that norm has been reversed – because now the water comes, at great cost, to us. Then, the amount of water that could be used was limited to the amount that any one individual could carry. Today, any individual can use an almost limitless amount without making even the slightest physical effort. Then it was the job of women to fetch water from distribution points at which they had the opportunity to exchange news and information. That role has now gone, as has that particular opportunity to get updated on local affairs. In the old days, the costs related to water were relatively straightforward.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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