Khama announces billion-Pula emergency water budget

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President Ian Khama yesterday announced a more than P1 billion budget for emergency projects aimed at various initiatives to contain the unfolding water crisis.

Moreover, a comprehensive assessment of all water challenges is also being finalised to assist with the prioritisation and implementation of water projects.

“A task team formed to carry out an assessment of the water situation in Botswana has recommended a number of projects meant to increase water supply across the country,” said Khama.

Some of the projects that will be funded under the scheme include water network extensions, ground water investigations and installation as well as expansion of water treatment plant capacity.

He said altogether, more than P1 billion worth of projects were at various stages of implementation.

“With the completion of the Dikgatlhong, Lotsane and Thune dams, our efforts have shifted to associated infrastructure,” he said.

In addition to the completed Dikgatlhong pipeline, commissioned last October, and the Lotsane infrastructure, which currently supply water to 22 villages; the extension of the North-South Carrier (NSC) from Moralane Break Pressure to Palapye is ongoing. The project is scheduled for completion next June.

“An additional pump station is to be constructed near Serorome Valley to improve delivery and efficiency of the NSC 1 downstream of Mahalapye to Gaborone,” Khama said.

The Mmamashia-Kanye NSC connection, which commenced August 2014, is expected to be done in February 2017.

This would supply Thamaga, Moshupa and Kanye with water from Mmamashia Water Treatment Works.

“Additional government initiatives to improve water supply and sanitation include projects such as Maun Water Supply and Sanitation Phase II, Kanye and Molepolole Sanitation, Seronga/Gudingwa water supply, Shakawe Water Treatment Plant, Mogodi Hill-Pitsane and Boteti Northern Cluster Water Project,” he said.

Plans are also underway to extend a project similar to the Masama East Phase I project meant to supplement water supply to the Greater Gaborone area undertaken at a cost of more than 300 million.

“Plans are also underway to extend a similar project at Masama West at an estimated cost of some 420 million,” said Khama.

Government has further begun a project to treat the Ramotswa well field borehole water for portable use, which will augment water supply to the South East district villages expected to be completed before end of the current financial year.

The prevailing water situation has hit the especially southern part of the country hard as the Department of Metereological Services recently reported that this period would be the worst ever-dry season in the past 34 years in the area.

Already, two of the southern dams that supply water at national levels namely Gaborone and Bokaa Dams have officially dried up.

Meanwhile, for the first time in the history of the National Assembly an MP prayed for rain.

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