Infrastructure Vandalism Worsen Water Shortage

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Maun is currently experiencing acute water shortages following the gradual drying up of the of Thamalakane River, but infrastructure vandalism remains a major challenge for the water authorities to adequately supply water under the circumstances.

This came to light recently during a briefing of the Maun leadership about the water situation in the region by Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) by Head of Business Centre (Maun/Gumare) Thabo Ndadi, who noted that the drying up of the river has mostly affected the immediate areas that receive water from it being Boseja, Disaneng, Matshwane, New Road, Route 9 and Matlapana.

That as it may, he raised concern that vandalism of water infrastructure which is prevalent both in urban and rural settings is also contributing to water shortage experienced in Maun.

Ndadi said vandalism generally results in reduced water access, adding that operational risks due to acts of vandalism and theft of valuable metal pipes also lead to increased maintenance costs. 

Furthermore, Ndadi added that theft of copper cables also affect supply as electricity has a high impact on water supply. He also revealed that illegal sand miners also contribute to damaging water pipes while mining in ungazetted areas.

He noted that while they are able to draw water from the other sources such as the Shashe well-fields, they are however still not able to source enough unlike when the river was still flowing.

Ndadi highlighted that when the river is flowing they source about 159 cubic meters per hour as compared to the 109 cubic meters per hour they get from the Shashe well-fields.

To mitigate the situation, he said that they are going to optimise other existing sources and also implement a structured water rational program. The corporation added that they will also use the water bowsing strategy at strategic points and critical institutions as well as practice frequent maintenance of their equipment to reduce interruption or leakages.

He has urged communities to refrain from vandalising water infrastructure but instead protect them so as to ensure that there is adequate water supply. He also pleaded with the public not to store too much water in large containers as it loses its value with time.

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