WUC moves to address acute water supply in the greater Gaborone area


Acute water shortage in the greater Gaborone areas such as Molepolole, Kanye,  Mochudi, and the surrounding peri-urban areas will be a  thing  of the past within a year from now, following the awarding of a 100km pipeline tender that will see an additional  water supply pumped from Masama well fields to Mmamashia water treatment plant, to augment the  current shortfall of 65ml of water per day in the region.

The 100km pipeline tender for the design and construction of the pipeline and associated works comes at a time when the greater Gaborone area, which is also the economic hub of Botswana has current water demands of 145 ml/day, while the current North South water career system, even with  upgrades is able to supply approximately 80 ml/d, resulting in water supply shortfall of 65ml/d which has hit areas like Molepolole, and Kanye in particular very hard.

Khato Civils joint venture, which already has  a clean  track record in Botswana, having undertaken  P200 million water works at Mmadinare, recently signed on the dotted lines for the commencement of the P700 million Pula water works scheduled  for completion inside 12 months.

The 100km tender was advertised in March 2018 and Khato Civils and 12 others bid for the job before the tender adjudication committee selected the winning bid after rigorious process that took months.

According to Khato Civils CEO, Mongezi Mnyani, due to the urgency of water supply required into greater Gaborone, the design and implementation of the project will be fast tracked and completed within twelve (12) months of the award of contract. He added that the site establishment processes are already underway including the mobilisation and sourcing of all required materials for the execution of the project.

“The insinuation that Khato Civils is able to influence and collude with politicians to be awarded contracts is ridiculous and nonsensical and actually undermines the degree of intelligence of government officials who are entrusted in making critical decision on behalf of Batswana people”, the CEO lashed at critics.

On local contractors engagement in the project, Mnyani told Mmegi Khato Civils will be sub-contracting 30% of the works to Batswana owned local sub-contractors and suppliers in order to boost their economic and developmental state as required by local legislation. 

He also added that they have  a solid Corporate Social Investment (CSI) policy that they implement in all their projects without fail which they take pride in.

So far in Botswana the company has built a classroom block and improved the look of the cemetery in Mmadinare where they implemented two water works projects for WUC.

He said as a matter of courtesy Khato Civils requested the community to provide a list of their needs and would then assess the needs and report back on which projects they will implement.

“Out of the submitted list we selected to build a block of classrooms at Mmadinare Primary School and to assist with the development of a new cemetery at Mmadinare. We met the principal of the school to plan the execution of the project and the specifications of the school project were finalised with her. The Kgotla accepted Khato Civils proposal and have expressed the gratitude of the work done so far. The specifications of the cemetery were similarly finalised with the Mmadinare kgotla”..

Khato Civils, working together with Water Utilities Corporation will implement similar projects that will contribute towards social and economic emancipation of communities in the identified villages along the corridor of the new 100km project, according to Mnyani, who added that such initiatives are done out of Khato Civils own company cost and not from the project cost.

The 100km Masama Wellfields-Mmamashia is not part of the North South water carrier 2.2 project that consists of 250km and was unbundled into four tender lots that are yet to be adjudicated and awarded.

Khato denies inflating tender prices

Meanwhile Khato Civils have reacted to allegations circulating via WhatsApp that they might have bribed President Mokgweetsi Masisi and inflated the tender price from P400 million to over P900 million.

According to Mnyani, “the tender price for the project as submitted by Khato Civils has never changed and you are  free to go  and  inspect  their  original   tender   documents.  He said the amount that Khato Civils tendered for is P781 million inclusive of VAT.

The Khato Civils CEO added that currently, the estimated cost of the pipes for this project is P470 million, pipe fittings is P17million and the valves is P40million, adding that these three items constitute almost   65%   of   the   total   cost   of   the   project. 

“This amount is not coming to Khato Civils and has to be paid directly to the manufacturers. Therefore you can make up your own calculations and tell us where you get the absurd idea that the price for this project  has  been inflated and the project   should  have   cost P400million. Unless someone is deliberately misinforming the public and thereby creating false impression about the project,” Mnyani further said.

Mnyani said contrary to perceptions that Khato Civils greased the palms of top people and thereby influencing tender decisions, the company loses many tenders but never make noise, adding that over the last year alone they lost three big tenders to competition.

Khato Civils also deny ever conceptualising the Masama Mmamashia project, saying that they only responded to the tender invite like other 12 companies who bid for the job.

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