Trouble in the land of plenty

Sleeping giant: Letsibogo dam
Sleeping giant: Letsibogo dam

Mmadinare is the home village of a 100 million cubic metre water body that is presently pumping 60 million litres a day to the Greater Gaborone area.

In fact, Gaborone and its surrounding areas would shrivel and dry up without Letsibogo Dam, which has now come to replace the failed Gaborone Dam.

While the 500,000 or so residents of Greater Gaborone enjoy the clear, clean Letsibogo Dam waters, consumers in the host village are licking dry lips, thirsty for even a drop.

Poor planning with the water infrastructure in the village has meant little to no water pressure for the thirsty villagers.

The village’s water woes are most evident at Mmadinare Senior Secondary School, whose 1,700 students have resorted to using the nearby bushes for their relief.

“The school is highly affected by this condition since it has water borne toilets,” explains the school’s head of department for maintenance, Lesedi Kgomotso.

“We end up allowing students to use the bush to relieve themselves.

Students being students, some take advantage of the bush relief to play truant, another effect of the water woes.

According to Kgomotso, who is also a teacher at the school, some of his fellow educators sometimes fail to report to work citing the water situation.

Although Mmadinare Senior has two reservoirs and a treatment plant, the supplier reservoir that automatically pumps water from the plant has not been performing well for some time.

“We currently rely on the opening and closing of the taps through the help of maintenance employees, a few number of students and some teachers who volunteer to control the continuous wastage caused by the unsealed taps,” he says.

Help is at hand for Mmadinare, says the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) water works engineer, Lucas Makepe.

Speaking specifically about the school, Makepe explains that inadequacies with the distribution plant in the village and the rising numbers of students at Mmadinare Senior contributed to the plight the institution finds itself in now.

“The boarding school admitted a larger number of students after initially welcoming few and this lead to a situation of low to no water pressure at all,” he explains.

The corporation, he says, has designed a new plant and submitted proposals for funding.

“The tender committee forwarded it to the government and we are now waiting for funds for this project,” he says.

The P220 million project will take at least 12 months and will benefit Mmadinare, Serule, Moreomabele, Gojwane as well as Damochujenaa.

The residents of Mmadinare and students at the school will have to wait a little longer.

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