Water crisis is not a new matter to Boteti residents as for years the residents have been complaining about the water problem in their area. The area is in shortage of water and when it is available it is smelly and contaminated, complains members of Rakops Youth group.
The youths said the smelly and brownish colour the water has made it not suitable for consumption as it is contaminated. For many years the residents have had no choice but to drink the said contaminated water. However, after numerous failed attempts of trying to seek intervention from relevant authorities in the area the Rakops Youth have lost their cool and resorted to petitioning the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila over the issue.
The group also this week handed a petition to their area Member of Parliament Slumber Tsogwane of Boteti North who they accuse of being not keen to help solve the matter. After handing their petition to Tsogwane’s office in his absence the aggravated youth said that it has been close to 30 years living with the problem of water and nothing is being done.
Speaking at a press conference in Gaborone they pointed that for a long time the people of their area have been forced to drink the smelly and contaminated water and this should come to an end. Collin Ramakhubu narrated that during their enquiry on the water problem they have been told that the water contains particles of hydrogen sulphide.
Ramakhubu said a simple search on Google shows that this substance is poisonous and harmful for human consumption.” “What is painful is that the situation has been like this for a long time and some people now see nothing wrong with the water since they are used to drinking it”, said Ramakhubu.
Rakops Youth group members accuse the area MP for not helping them address the matter but trying to down play it. They revealed that a week ago when they asked the MP about the water progress he told them that everything was fixed only to find out from Water Utilities Corporation that nothing has been done.
“When we asked people at Water Utilities Corporation we were told that the matter is not resolved but the smell had reduced because more air was let into the storage tank”, explained Ramakhubu. To add to this the youth feel that their MP had snubbed them when they delivered their petition to his office. They said Tsogwane knew that they were coming but decided to attend to other issues instead of theirs.
Another Rakops youth member Alfred Masokola said the water crisis does not only affect the residents but also businesses and the tourism industry. The youthful Masokola explained that tourists are beginning to shun their area because of the stinking water. “The tourists now do not want to come to our area since the water is not good,” he said.
It was envisaged that the Boteti Cluster Village Water Supply would address the situation as the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resource Kitso Mokaila had promised. The projects which started in 2013 and was expected to be completed this year. The situation however still stands hence the petition to the area MP and the minister.
In their petition Rakops Youth stated that they want a solution that would put a stop to the smelly tap water in Rakops and be provided with clean water. Efforts to get Tsogwane comment on the matter were not successful as he said he was busy with the Botswana Democratic Party congress in Mmadinare.