Lack of rain is not a political problem

SHARE   |   Monday, 07 September 2015   |   By Karabo Ramogotsi
Dr Phenyo Butale addressing the masses on issues of water in Gaborone Dr Phenyo Butale addressing the masses on issues of water in Gaborone

I hear some are planning to hold some demonstrations to show their displeasure about lack of water. Political fanatics trying hard to score political points using the painful lack of water are somehow devoid of nature.  Perhaps this is the right time to remind even those in opposition problems that even if they were ruling the country at this juncture, the country will still be experiencing drought and the world will still be reeling under painful effects of climate change. Even if there were to be change in government now, drought will not go away. We are all in the meantime hoping the north-south carrier comes to our rescue and deliver to the south the much needed water to quench our thirsts. The north – south water carrier will also in the near future not be enough to supply the whole country with water.
The north – south water carrier keeps bursting not only because of its unadoptable conditions but also that volumes of water passing through it have had to be increased to try meet the demand necessitated by the drying of Gaborone dam. It is the civil servants and private contractors working on the north – south water carrier and not the politicians. It is a matter left to experts to ensure that the little drop of water available is shared equally by those in need.
The drying of Gaborone dam is not a political problem. It is natural problem. There has not been adequate rain in almost three years and this year has been the worst of the past three.  We are told that his lack of water will eventually also put pressure on production outputs that depend on water. It is a global problem. It is a not a problem that Botswana has customized. Climate change is not only denying the whole world water safety, it is impacting negatively on the world economy and Botswana is no exception. Addressing the water shortage with a political rally mentality will not make this drought go away. As the Christians continue to pray for rain, we could all join them and maybe God will hear our prayers and pour down from the heavens the much needed water to quench our thirst.
 I hear the political space is pregnant with opposition parties trying to use drought as a political scoring cloud. Unless opposition politicians are telling us that they can make it rain so that we could use their umbrella, then really the talk is not meaningful. Planning marches and demonstrations on water shortages! Really! People, there is no rain!  Which part of drought does the people do not understand? Unless such people intend petitioning God then their marches and demonstrations are nothing but a waste of more water as protesting and marching in this heat will need more water for demonstrators to drink on the day and more water to bath, to cool off the bodies in the evening and even more water to wash their clothes from the march.
That Botswana is a desert is not a political rally matter or a matter that needs a demonstration or a march.  If people want to march they could probably march and demonstrate at the growing population which is also increasing water demands in a desert that is Botswana. Those energies of wanting to march and demonstrate could be used to educate people on the effects of climate change.  Botswana is naturally a desert and hence as the world faces climate change and increased population countries which are naturally not water secure such as countries established on and around deserts will suffer. Marching and protesting that there is no rain will be more like celebrating the status quo. 
I am saddened by this high display of ignorance of politicians blaming government for lack of rain and hence I repeat myself that it is not a political problem that Gaborone dam is dry, it is a natural problem. There is no rain due to climate change and worse enough meteorologically speaking, Botswana has entered yet one of its worst drought seasons ever.
There have been droughts ever since the story of evolution. These droughts have even begun wars such as Difacane / Mfecane and forced so many tribes to relocate searching for water and in the process human kind displacing and unsettling one another. What is of key importance now is to teach people on how to survive with less water and to create awareness on water conservation than politicize a natural challenge. Climate change is not a political problem; it is a human irresponsibility problem.
Karabo Ramogotsi
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