FRANCISTOWN: The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, has said that water tariffs are likely to go up to recover costs and deal with misuse.
He told a Water Pitso at Adonsonia Hotel in Francistown recently that Botswana’s water tariffs are still low compared to other countries and this might be the reason why people misuse the resource.
“Some people have a perception that there is too much water in Botswana and use water carelessly. I think the government should consider water tariff increment. Maybe people will start to save water,” he explained.
He expressed concern that about 50 percent of supplies from the service provider, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) goes to waste.
The minister said that some people are still openly misusing water while others vandalise water pipes to water their livestock. He said WUC faces other challenges such as the spatial mismatch between demand and availability. He said the corporation is considering ways of recovering the costs of water treatment, storage, collection, delivery to customers and treating wastewater. Mokaila said that with the growing economy, there is rising water demand especially in urban centres, which have a busy construction sector and large institutions. One of the participants in the Pitso, Comfort Molosiwa from Palapye advised the ministry to improve water connection and supply before increasing tariffs. He said he does not want to see a situation where Batswana will pay a lot of money while the supply is not reliable. He challenged the ministry to employ more hydrologists and people trained and experienced in water structuring and connection. “Department of Water Affairs (DWA) had experienced individuals in water connection who lost their jobs during the takeover of water services by WUC in 2010. I think government should consider re-hiring those people if they are serious about solving the water crisis,” suggested Molosiwa.