Govt addresses water scarcity in Kgalagadi

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 22 December 2020   |   By Eric Raphuti
Jacobs Jacobs

The government of Botswana has come with remedial measures to solve the persisting scarcity of water in the entire Kgalagadi District, says Kgalagadi District Council Chairperson Hendrick Jacobs.

Officially opening the Kgalagadi District Council session in Hukuntsi on Tuesday, he informed the council that the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) of which Botswana is a party to, has offered Botswana through the Department of Water and Sanitation a donation to drill four boreholes within the Orange-Senqu river basin in Botswana in November 2020.

He said the Department therefore, acted promptly to utilize the said donation before the end of 2020 as required by the donor. The Shumba Drilling Company was awarded the tender which costs 2.1 million pula to drill and test pump the said four boreholes. He further informed the council that the first production borehole will be drilled at Werda as part of the expansion of the wellfield.

He said the drilling started on the 28th November 2020, now left with pump testing and the second production borehole will be drilled within Lobu as part of the resuscitation plan for the farm. The remaining two groundwater monitoring boreholes will be drilled in the Bokspits area, precisely at Vaalhoek and Struizendam.

The monitoring boreholes, he said will form part of the joint groundwater monitoring network between Botswana, South Africa and Namibia as part of the ARASECOM groundwater management plan. However, he said the monitoring boreholes in question will be properly constructed in case they might be needed for emergency water supply. All the drilling and test-pumping works will be completed by December 2020.

Regarding the Kgalagadi North Villages Water Supply Project, he said the direct appointment of environmental impact assessment (EIA) was approved by the Ministerial Tender Committee (MTC) in October 2020 therefore, the tender is currently floating until 21st December 2020. Jacobs assured the council that the evaluation for the tender will therefore be held in January 2021 and awarding of a tender and mobilization are anticipated in February and March 2021 respectively.

He further said the tender for the Groundwater component was evaluated from 23 to 27 November 2020. A recommendation for award, he said will be tabled before the next MTC meeting which is scheduled for first week of December 2020 for approval. If approved, mobilization and start of site works are anticipated in February 2021. He said the Engineering component which is also before the Court was heard on the 20 October 2020 and its ruling will be made in February 2021.

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