Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 calls for all nations to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. The goal specifies that “access to water and sanitation is fundamental to uphold human dignity.”
Botswana has made a huge step towards realizing this SDG goal by commissioning a water pipeline project that transmits water to drought-infected southern region of Botswana from the country’s well fields situated some 100 km in the northern part of the country.
The Southern Africa indigenous civil engineering giant, Khato Civils, was contracted to design and implement the project which has been handed over to the government of Botswana yesterday.
Speaking during the handover ceremony was graced by an entourage of Botswana Government officials led by President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, Khato Civils Executive Chairman, Simbi Phiri, announced that the project was a response to an emergency crisis that besieged the nearly arid country.
“In this project, we were not looking for profit. We were mostly looking for implementation as it was an emergency in a highly contested space that was. Our resolve was to just get things done,” he said while bemoaning that Khato’s entry into Botswana met resistance that was wielded by competitors and potential competitors alike.
The emergency was compounded by Covid-19 pandemic which calls for people’s absolute hygiene as primary defence against catching the virus. The water restrictions and rationing were presenting a huge challenge to following the strict hygiene practices hence compounding the emergency.
The Khato Chairman stated that African indigenous firms simply require business space to demonstrate capacity on which black entrepreneurs are underrated.
“There is this downside that an African cannot organize technical projects. It’s not true. This project is basically a testimony that these things are possible with us. The only thing an African needs is an opportunity. Sir, the President, you gave us that opportunity. We are eternally grateful that you gave us the opportunity to showcase what we can do and if many leaders in the continent could do what you have done to many black people,”
Taking his turn, the Botswana President highlighted that the water pipe infrastructure is transmitting 64 million litres of water per day across a 100km distance from the water source dams in the northern part to the southern parts which include the country’s capital Gaborone.
The southern part of Botswana which is referred to as the greater Gaborone experienced a daily deficit of 89 million litres of water that, according to Masisi, resulted in water restrictions, rationing, anxiety and anger.
The maximum of 64 million litres of water conveyed per day reduces the water deficit by almost 72 percent.
In Malawi, Khato Civils is expected to implement another water project that is targeted to tap water from Lake Malawi in Salima zone to the capital city where water rationing is also experienced in recent years.
© Shire Times
By Don Chinkuzi