Solar for clean water

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 08 May 2019   |   By Lame Modise
Solar for clean water

Boatlaname, Sojwe water shortage woes alleviated

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Botswana Innovation Hub has launched a solar water purification plant that will see the end to Boatlaname and Sojwe villages water shortage troubles.

The two villages located in the Kgalagadi District used to have separate water supply schemes with Sojwe being supplied from two boreholes, BH 6031 and BH 6032, which were decommissioned in 2006 due to high nitrate levels. Boatlaname was supplied from BH 2297 which was also decommissioned also due to high nitrates content.

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Speaking at the official launch of the Sojwe Water treatment Plant, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) Sustainability and Water Resources Director, Gaselemogwe Senai, explained that the two villages were then connected and supplied from BH 7214.

“The BH 7214 borehole is highly dependent on annual rainfall recharge, therefore its production fluctuates between seasons as evidenced by its decline in yield from 27 cubic metres to as low as 9 cubic metres in 2016 and 2017,” he explained.

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He also said the corporation had resorted to using water bowsers to supply the villages with clean water but the efforts could not meet the water demand for the area. He admitted that with the plant, the corporation was able to re-commission BH 6031 and put it back in operation.

“It is envisaged that the plant will be able to treat the nitrate in the water and put the borehole to good use, augmenting supply and improving reliability and security of supply to the villages,” he said, noting that the project has proven to produce Class 1 water that satisfies BOS 32:2015 – Drinking Water Standard though it is still at a pilot stage.

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For his part, Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) Board Member, Midas Sekgabo, said the Hub’s mandate allows it to undertake key pilot projects which have the potential to scale and deliver services nationally as is the case with the water purification plant in Sojwe village. He noted that the success of their dealings is attributed to key stakeholder partnerships as is the case with Hydrocon Green, the technical partner responsible for the design and fabrication of the water treatment unit which employs the innovation of using solar power to purify water.

The partnership between WUC, BIH and Hydrocon Green will further the development of testing and implementing local water treatment solutions in rural areas. The Sojwe Water Treatment Plant follows a successful commissioning of the first water treatment plant in Zoroga village in July 2017.

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“Our vision is for the development of a viable business model for the commercialisation of the current prototype to be availed to areas with similar water problems,” said Sekgabo.

He also said BIH’s efforts are guided by the outfit’s Intellectual Property Policy, development and implementation framework, adding that BIH will continue to work with Hydrocon Green to further test the unit with WUC.

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He said they will be observing the water quality to ensure its safety for household consumption.    



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