FRANCISTOWN: There is need for Batswana to seriously conserve water, said the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MEWR), Kitso Mokaila, at the 2015 Water Pitso official opening on Thursday.
The Pitso, which is themed ‘Sustainable Interventions to address Botswana water challenges, in partnership with stakeholders’ ended on Friday.
Mokaila bemoaned that a lot of water around the country is not well managed though the country is facing acute shortage in some areas.
“Some people misuse water by watering gardens unnecessarily. Some fill their pools using hosepipes. There are some people who even vandalise standpipes to provide water to their livestock.
“This is a serious (water-wasting) issue that needs immediate attention because the country is faced with a serious shortage of water,” said Mokaila, as he urged the nation to be prudent.
He then called on civic and community leaders to help educate the nation about the importance of managing water.
“Taking into consideration the declining of water resources and the increased demand of it, there is an urgent need for everyone of us to account for every drop of water available in the country,” he added.
Mokaila also said that the water challenge in Botswana is worsened by the absence of suitable dam sites and climate change, which has affected rainfall patterns. He said that to some extent this has reduced the amount of rainfall.
He said that increasing pollution as a result of poor sanitation also worsens water challenges.
He added that his ministry has developed a draft national water and wastewater policy in recognition of the fact that that water represents one of the key challenges to the country’s development.
“This policy will provide direction for planning, development and management of water resources in the country,” he said.
The policy has been approved by cabinet and is now awaiting debate by Parliament for endorsement, he explained.
Another effort by government to improve service delivery in the water sector, Mokaila said, involves the installation of disinfection systems to improve quality.