The opposition wants to keep people thirsty for their love of power.
The political opposition is playing politics with people’s lives. They connived to kill a request for the construction of a 100km pipeline from Masama wells to the Greater Gaborone Area. And in doing so, did not even tell the nation the truth. We present the story of what the situation really is.
Currently, Gaborone and the greater Gaborone area needs 145 mega litres of water per day. But we only have 80 mega litres coming through the North South Water Carrier pipeline 1. North to South water carrier pipeline 2 is still under construction and will bring an additional 64 mega litres of water per day- and this can only be done within the next four years. The combined volume of the two North to South water pipelines would therefore be 144 Mega litres of water per day. It is projected (and common sense) that within 5 years our water needs in southern Botswana for residential, commercial, and heavy industries usage will be well above 145 mega litres per day and approaching 180 mega litres per day; thus even with both NSC 1 (80 mega litres) and NSC 2 (64 mega litres) we will face a significant deficit. The third pipeline from Masama is not an option or wish it is a reality which we need to accept sooner rather than later. Only with three pipelines pumping daily (NSC 1 at 80, NSC 2 at 64, and Masama at 64 mega litres) will we have enough water for our needs in Southern Botswana.
These pipelines bring surface water from dams in the Northern part of the country. Dam water contains a lot more impurities and costs significantly more to treat and make potable. This distinction is important.
Masama meanwhile is a constellation of boreholes that pump underground water. Because underground water is much cleaner and costs relatively little to treat (basically put chlorine and it’s ready for drinking), it would be more costly to pump the Masama wells water into the North South Carrier Pipelines. It makes economic sense in the medium and long term then to construct a pipeline from Masama into the greater Gaborone area. This pipeline would pump in 64 mega litres of water per day.
It would mean that Molepolole, Kanye, Moshupa, Thamaga, Lobatse, Mochudi, Lentsweletau villages and surrounding areas immediately get to receive enough water. As we speak the pipeline from Mmamashia to Moshupa through Thamaga has started pump testing water from NSC 1, and once tests are complete water will now be required to pump to these villages; where are we going to get this extra water when the Masama project has been declined?
Because of water shortages, we currently spend between P300,000.00 and P400, 000.00 per day on water bowsers to get water to these villages. The cost of doing this will only continue to rise and all reasonable people will agree that it is not wise or sustainable to use water bowsers to get water to a village like Molepolole, for instance, with the largest population of residents for a village in Botswana. As it is now, we are over pumping our wells around Molepolole and Kanye and that can result in them having a shorter lifespan than normal.
It is clear then that without this pipeline, the people of these villages will suffer greatly. Already meteorological services indicate that by the years 2020 and 2021 there will be a reduction in rainfall, hence a reduction in the capacity of all our dams in the country. It is anticipated then that the North South Water Pipeline itself may not be able to bring in as much water as demanded. But the Masama wells would be able to alleviate the situation. The opposition doesn’t like this kind of forward thinking. And they do not want us to be able to get more water to these greater Gaborone villages.
When killing the request for the construction of the pipeline the opposition said it’s too expensive to undertake. This is not true. In actual fact, the same stretch of pipeline from Masama to Gaborone under the North South Water Carrier Pipeline costs double slightly above 800 million price the Masama pipeline requires. It costs about P1,8 billion. Let us repeat this part: the cost of the Masama pipeline is actually half of the cost of constructing the North South Water Carrier Pipeline for the same 100km stretch. We will be spending half of what it costs us to do the North South Water Carrier pipeline for the same distance, topography and quality of pipes. It is as such a complete untruth to say the Masama pipeline is more costly than similar projects. The costs tendered for are within the estimates that engineers had thought it may cost to do.
What then is the problem?
The opposition are playing politics with people’s lives. The truth is Lobatse, Kanye North and South, Molepolole North and South, Moshupa Manyana, Goodhope - Mabule, Mmathethe - Molapowabojang, Thamaga-Kumakwane, Mochudi East and West, Ramotswa, Tlokweng, Mogoditshane, Gabane - Mmankgodi, Lentsweletau-Mmopane and the Gaborone constituencies all have water as a major issue. In these constituencies water shortages are currently a problem and a solution to this problem will mean their cheap politics are without substance. It is a very selfish move informed by nothing but a love for power. This is the nature of the people we are dealing with. They are willing for citizens of this country to suffer and go thirsty for the sake of garnering a few more votes.
The strategy from the opposition is to ‘whip the voter into submission’ through denying them water. Their grand plan is to ensure that the people of all these constituencies suffer thirst so much that they decide not to vote BDP. This is the nature of the people we are dealing with. For them, it is the politics of anything goes. The suffering of the people does not matter so long as it brings votes to them.
We therefore encourage residents of these areas and indeed the country to let the opposition know that they are not happy to not have water. When they come to your houses to campaign let them know that water is a basic need and they cannot pretend to care about you when they are doing everything to ensure you do not get water in your houses. We will try once more to get the selfish opposition to support the idea of getting enough water to our people. We also wish to make it clear that we shall not tire on efforts to get this precious resource to people’s houses even with strong opposition from the UDC and their partners.
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