Amid the water supply challenge which has bedeviled the southern part of Botswana for the longest time and even forced government to invest much in the North-South Carrier Water Project, there are no plans to build any dams in southern part of the country.
The southern part of Botswana is densely populated and remains the economic hub of the country, therefore fears are that prolonged water crisis can have a major impact on the economy and scare potential investors.
Speaking on the sidelines of the tour of North-South Carrier 2.2 water project which draws water from Dikgatlhong dam- Palapye-Mmamashia and distribute to the Greater Gaborone area, Minister of Lands and Water Affairs Kefentse Mzwinila said studies undertaken indicate that it is impossible to construct any dams across the eastern and southern parts of the country.
“It’s very impossible to build new dams or even upgrade the current existing dams. The only possible place as of now is the Mosetse area in the North, “said Mzwinila.
While government is of the belief that dam sites have been exhausted, there have been cries for water from local rivers which is lost without being captured.
As of now, the southern part of Botswana has only three dams being Gaborone at 141.4 million cubic meters capacity and Bokaa and Nnywane with 18.5 and 2.3 million cubic meters respectively. The three combined, as well as efforts from the North-South Carrier pipeline has not been enough to meet the water demand of Greater Gaborone area with places such as Molepolole, Kanye living in dire thirst and shortage of water.
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“There is no any place which we can use to capture water. The last area to survey and assess was the Dikgatlhong area but the rest of the country are just pans, there is no where we can build dams because at the end of the day we want sustainable water sources,” buttressed Director at Department of Water and Sanitation, Bogadi Mathangwane.
Meanwhile the 360km North-South Carrier 2.2 water project is ongoing to ensure sufficient water supply in southern part of Botswana where water demand has increased and surpassed capacity of the available resources. Worth more than P5.2 billion, the project commenced last year in October and is expected to come to a conclusion in July next year. Some of the works includes a welded steel pipeline from Palapye to Mmamashia and pump stations.
Other projects which the government is looking to embark on post the NSC 2.2, is the Chobe-Zambezi Water Scheme which will draw 495 million cubic litres of water from the river and the Lesotho Highlands Water Transfer Scheme and Namibia-Botswana desalination water projects which are still at infancy stages.