Infrastructure Vandalism In Ungazzetted Settlements Costs WUC


The Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has decried the high costs of repairing vandalised water infrastructure that traverse ungazetted settlements which are not supplied with water as government policy dictates.

Without the supply of portable water in their areas, some residents and farmers then resort to vandalise the infrastructure to get the much sought after resource for domestic use and watering their livestock.

The corporation is currently failing to meet Maun’s water demand of 15 million liters of water per day, and infrastructure vandalism has been blamed for exacerbating the problem.

Addressing a press conference in Maun recently WUC Head of Corporation General Manager Paul Mafavuneh said from their observation, the pipelines are vandalized where they pass through ungazetted settlements.

Some of the pipelines that suffer vandalism are the 50 km long Somelo pipe line which feeds Sehithwa and its catchment areas, the 40 kilometres long Phuduhudu transmission tine that feeds Motopi as well as the 27 km Kunyere booster station pipeline and 20 km Shashe well field to Shashe booster station line.

“We replace and fix the Semolo pipe line every two weeks at an estimated cost of P10 000, that means we spend around P10 000 every two weeks for each repair,” Mafavune said, noting that the culprits have not been apprehended. 

He added that they have also had challenges with copper wire theft and vandalism of the Kunyere pipe line which transmits water to the Maun areas.

Mafuvaneh noted that during dry season, their corporation often experiences higher cases of vandalism of pipe lines passing through cattle posts adding that some destroy the pipes deliberately for their livestock consumption while in some cases its due to farm works.

He indicated that mostly the pipes are destroyed where the cooperation has designed breathers for the pipes. He however indicated that they have since closed the breathers to avoid cases of vandalism, a move which he said goes against the pipeline’s design.

He has cautioned that vandalism does not only disrupt water flows in homes but it can also lead to contamination of the water as well.

For his part North West District Council (NWDC) Chairperson Itumeleng Kelebetseng who acknowledged the damage and expenses brought about by vandalism of pipes said there is need for parliament to amend the policy on the supply of water to ungazzeted settlements.

Meanwhile Kelebetseng has urged communities to report any suspected pipe line vandalism act to relevant authorities. He noted that council has drilled boreholes in various settlements and rural areas to ensure that communities have access to clean drinking water.

Parliament last year rejected a motion by Ngami Member of Parliament Caterpillar Hikuama to consider providing clean drinking water to rural communities in farming areas and ungazetted settlement. Opposing the motion, Vice President slumber Tsogwane said even though the government aspired to provide water to all Batswana, it could not be achieved at ungazetted areas due to financial constraints. 


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