Vandalism of water pipes worries WUC

Continuous vandalism of water pipes in Maun area is a cause of concern not only for Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) but for communities in affected areas too.

When communities are worried that this kind of vandalism disrupts water flows in their homes, the department says the vandalism can also lead to contamination of the cleaned water as well.

“As the chief has already stated, water is precious, it gives life, so when these pipes are deliberately damaged we lose litres of fresh water unnecessarily,” explained the organisation’s head of business centre in Maun, Thabo Ndadi.

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Ndadi was speaking at a stakeholder engagement workshop in Maun this week where community members were briefed on water supply and waste management situation in Maun. Issues that were raised included vandalism of water pipes caused by among other things farmers around Sehithwa area who often break pipes to let water out for their livestock, especially during dry season.

Currently Maun area has a shortage of two million litres of water and WUC says the water shortage becomes more apparent around the festive season as more people visit due to the area being a tourism town.

Away from the meeting however was councillor for Thito-Bombadi, Kebonyemodisa Ramolapo who was making inspection along Shashe River with some community members over the concern that water pipes were left exposed during illegal sand mining along the river.

“This is worrisome. People who mine sand in the river have exposed these pipes, and at some point some were broken and these pits were filled with water while the community was suffering as the water was not reaching them,” explained Ramolapo.

Another community member, Kae Kae of Thito ward noted that they have tried as community members to scare off the sand miners but to no avail. “Water has always been a problem in Maun, so breaking the pipes is complicating things further,”said Kae

WUC noted that things like simple trespassing and damaging water pipes have slowed down their services and raised unnecessary costs for the corporation as they often have to service these damages.

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Meanwhile those who attended the workshop noted that the water quality in Maun was still poor.

Another cause of concern which was raised was P7 million debt owed to WUC in water bills of which over P33 million is owed by individual households, P21 million by government and the rest by the council.

The lead engineer at the corporation, Lesego Toteng advised the community to always fix leakages because they mostly account for high bills.

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