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BIH Courts Locals For Clean Water

PAULINE DIKUELO
Allan Boshwaen
Botswana Innovation Hub's (BIH) efforts of exploring and utilising local innovators in empowering the country is showing results as they have engaged a local company to treat water for the people of Sojwe.

Currently efforts are underway with Hydrocon-Green, a citizen company to commission a further enhanced water treatment plant based on the use of solar power.

Speaking to Monitor Business, BIH chief executive officer, Allan Boshwaen said the plant is in the fabrication stage and are expecting to commission it next August.

“We are doing whatever it takes to help empower the young innovators as we have been engaging them on several occasions. Lately, we are still working with a citizen company to develop a treatment plant and the Intellectual Property (IP) is fully developed,” he said.

According to the Hub, the country has insufficient surface water to meet the demands of the country hence the need for technologies that can desalinate the underground water for consumption. To address this, last year BIH worked with the Embassy of Israel to identify key strengths in clean technologies, which can lead to initiatives to forge partnerships in water, and energy related technologies that best suit the local environment. “We collaborated with ODIS Group, an Israeli water treatment technology company and Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) to pilot dual water treatment unit in Zoroga.

The pilot of the

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project was successful as we handed the project to WUC last year in June and now about 1,500 people of Zoroga consume desalinated water,” he said.

According to Boshwaen the introduction, testing and development of the technology can be used as a basis for design and implementation of local water treatment or purification centres in rural areas.

He said the dual water treatment system is one of the innovations that have the potential of positive national impact given that the country experiences high water stress and incidents of salinity of underground water reserves.

Further he noted that BIH is also pursuing an initiative to develop solar testing and demonstration facility noting that the technical feasibility study of the project has made recommendations on the options for implementing the project and identified critical stakeholders that needs to be involved.

To this end, BIH is currently in discussions with Botswana Power Corporation in regards to grid access and Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) from a renewable energy regulatory framework development perspective.

“BIH would work with BERA to develop programmes for capacity building as well as to explore R&D on storage renewable,” he said.



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