- Water crisis goes back 10 years
- Former MP lost elections on the chronic crisis
The people of Jackalas No. 1 will deliver a petition demanding improved water supply in their village to the government on Thursday this week. The petition, which is the culmination of a problem that goes back 10 years, will be received by the MP for Tati West, Simon Mavange. Information reaching this publication is that the villagers will use a Kgotla meeting which will be addressed by Mavange for the purpose.
“The situation in our village is sad and very dire,” said the Chairperson of the local Vision 2036 Committee, Boikhutso Mphinyane in an interview with this publication yesterday (Monday). “Water is a basic human need but we do not have clean water to drink. Things like bathing have become a luxury. Students cannot even concentrate on their studies because their eating and bathing schedules are affected the shortage of water shortages.”
Mphinyane said they have decided to petition the government because they had engaged Water Utilities Corporation in vain. “And if nothing happens after this petition, we will go straight to the Office of the President,” he said.
He described as a disturbing factor the fact that the village did not experience such water shortages under the defunct Department of Water Affairs. The MP said he is aware of the situation and promised a solution. “Our short-term solution has been delivering water through water bowsers but we are now going to roll out the Ntimbale water project,” he added. “The World Bank has released money for that project.”
Shortage of water in Jackalas No. 1 is a chronic issue. The former MP for Tati West, Biggie Butale, told a local newspaper in March last year that a tender to expand water infrastructure in the area was out. “The hope is for the project to commence in April (2019),” Butale said at the time. A year later nothing of the sort has happened.
Butale, who lost elections in the constituency mainly because of this very problem, at the time claimed that P200 million from the World Bank had been earmarked for improving water infrastructure in the area.
The Botswana Gazette has established that the World Bank approved a $145.5 million (P150 billion) for Botswana in March 2017 for the Emergency Water Security and Efficiency Project. P220 million of this was to finance the upgrading of water infrastructure in the North East and Tutume Sub District.
“This investment is to improve efficiency and reliability of water supply for about 181,000 beneficiaries in 52 villages. The North East Water Supply Scheme in recent years experienced acute water shortages. The villages are supplied by surface water from Ntimbale Dam and groundwater from Maitengwe wellfield. To increase supply, the pumping capacity from Ntimbale Dam will be increased from 7,000 m3/day to 14,000 m3/d,”a 2017 report by the World Bank says.
Mavange is the second legislator to say a project tender has been issued but would not provide details as to who won the tender and when it was it floated.