Mathangwane cluster thirsty for change

Kitso Ramono

Work underway on water supply infrastructure worth P94 million

For years, residents of Mathangwane, Makobo, Natale and Jamataka have complained of crippling water shortages in their villages, with many households seeing their taps run dry for days at a time.

Installed by Water Utilities Cooperation (WUC) over 20 years ago, the narrow pipes could no longer cope with the Mathangwane cluster’s growing population, recorded at 10, 821 in the 2022 census.

The cluster’s cries have finally been heard.

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Hoping to wash away their woes, WUC have begun work on a P94 million project dubbed the ‘Mathangwane Cluster Villages Water Supply Infrastructure Upgrade’.

The tender was awarded to citizen-owned company, Auto Drone, who will take charge of both the design and construction stages.

This includes building pipe lines, water pump stations and installing water tanks in the four North East villages, located some 30 km from Francistown.

Work commenced on 6 February and is expected to be wrapped up within nine months, by 5 November.

Updating invested parties at a Stakeholders Engagement in Ghetto on Tuesday, Project Engineer, Keamogetse Masalila, revealed the pipeline will cover 31 kilometres, beginning at the second city’s Blue Town location and running all the way through to Jamataka.

“At Blue Town pump station, we will upgrade the pump station and install new pipeline. We will then proceed to Mathangwane, where we will build two water tanks,upgrade the pump station and install a new pipeline leading to Makobo, where we will also build a new pump station and a pipeline to Jamataka, where we will also build one water tank. The project will also entail the construction of two guard houses at the Makobo and Mathangwane pump stations, as well as WUC offices in Mathangwane,” she explained.

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The Project Engineer noted they will employ state-of-the art technology to monitor their pump stations and pipelines to deal with any problems that might arise.

“We will use a system called Telemetry Scada, which will be operated by our experts at Shashe Station, to identify pipe bursts and monitor water levels in tanks. This will allow us to be more efficient in our service delivery,” Masalila told the audience, which included Mathangwane cluster village elders.

For their part, Auto Drone Construction’s Lead Engineer, Lerato Sechele, said their organisation is devoted to completing quality work on schedule.

“We have hired 83 employees, which nine of them are foreign, 25 are residents of the cluster and the rest being professional employees and are locals. Our aim is to finish this project well in time as water is a very important necessity,” said Sechele.

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