The unpleasant smell from the Glen Valley wastewater treatment plant into Tsholofelo and Broadhurst areas will soon be a thing of the past thanks to the P350 million refurbishment project which is underway.
For years residents of Tsholofelo and Broadhurst have been complaining about the disgusting stench of human waste stemming from the sewage lines at the Glen Valley sewage pond. Many suspected it might be a health hazard. Additionally, the sewage odour was often blamed for headaches, eye irritation and respiratory problems residents experienced. At a recent media tour of the treatment plant, the Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila said the awful smell would be a thing of the past once the project comes to an end in June 2021. He said the project aims to refurbish plant No.1 of a total capacity of 40ML/day and attend to other works at the treatment plant.
Mzwinila added the project would help to free the neighbouring residents who in the past were forced to stay behind closed doors and windows to keep the odour away. “Those who are familiar with this area will agree with me that the smell is fairly better. The smell from this plant used to be very unpleasant, but complaints surrounding the bad odour have relatively reduced because of this ongoing project.
We have managed to complete another biological odour control plant, which is currently working. Soon the last two would be completed.” Mzwinila said in future the Ministry plans to treat wastewater to a quality level acceptable for reuse. This is what is termed wastewater reclamation. He stated that currently they treat and recycle water for environmental consumption. However, the Ministry is planning to recycle water to be used as clean water before the end of 2021 or 2022. He stated that countries like Namibia and South Africa were a step ahead with wastewater reclamation.
“Project e, e nale le dikarolo tse tharo, ya ntlha ke go oketsa selekanyo sa metsi are kgonang go a phepafatsa, secondly, ke go tlhabolola ditlamelo tsa treatment plant and the third phase is the wastewater reclamation.
The country is still facing shortage of water and we are planning to look at how we will continue to take water to the people. Currently, our dams are full but we do not know how long they will last hence efforts in place to redirect water from Namibia or the Atlantic Ocean or water from Zambezi River into Botswana,” Mzwinila said. He added consultations would be made with the public before the commencement of wastewater reclamation. Mzwinila further explained that wastewater reclamation was not a new concept because the idea has been there since it had been part of the NDP11. “This concept would go an extra mile in helping the country to curb the shortage of water,” Mzwinila said.
For his part, Mpho Balopi who is the Member of Parliament for Gaborone North said the bad smell coming out of the treatment plant has been bothering the residents for years. Balopi stated that the completion of the project gives them hope of a stink-free environment that has been a bane for residents of Tsholofelo, Glen Valley BDF camp and other parts of Broadhurst. He said residents would now enjoy the luxury of relaxing outdoors.