Land Disputes Delays Maun Water Project

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The Maun Water Supply and Sanitation Project Contract 1 which is expected to be completed in November this year recently experienced some delays owing to land disputes between contractors and land owners.

Resident Engineer Johannes Ben has revealed that the project experienced delays in areas along Matlapana where pumps or lift stations are being constructed. These delays were caused by the designs that had to affect residences, something that called for consultations.

“The consultations were carried out for certain period of time until the matter was resolved and that halted our works,” he said. According to Ben, the Project Management Office (PMO) and Tawana Land Board have since reached an agreement over the land issues affecting the project which entails construction of 130 pumps stations. He indicated that out of 130 lift stations, construction of 31 has already commenced and they are currently at 60 % completion stage.

Project Management Office (PMO) Director Kaboyamodimo Raitoko confirmed that the contractors in Contract 1 of the project have complained of the delay in the construction of the 130 pump stations.

He said the conclusion reached was that Tawana Land Board shall have a dedicated officer who will be part of the technical team so that when such issues arise they are dealt with sooner.

The Director said the PMO together with the Land Board Secretary were urged to engage frequently on issues that may arise within the project area, with a view to arrange special Board Meetings in order to improve on the turnaround of consideration of items particularly the once dealing with way-leaves.

He said it was unanimously agreed that the Director of Lands will be engaged to facilitate the process as he has been doing it in State land as opposed to the approach that has been followed by Land Boards at Tribal Land, regarding changes in procedure of valuations of properties within the project area.

“Permission has been sort from director of lands to authorise lands officer in Francistown to assist Tawana Land Board on valuations and a technical officer has been assigned to assist the contractors when conducting setting outs in order to prepare for submissions from contractor to the Board,” he noted.

He said the cause of delay mainly arise from the fact that applications for way-leaves are submitted in the form of piece meal basis hence the delay.

Meanwhile the contractor was instructed by DEA to stop construction works along the Thamalakane River due to its sensitivity so that thorough consultation is done through the Environmental Management Plan. Although this was done during concept design stage it was revealed that DEA demanded that Environmental Management Plan (EMP) be updated again at detailed design phase.

PMO and Environmental Consultants (Geoflux) concluded consultations on June 3rd and is expected to submit the updated EMP to DEA by end of June such that construction activity can proceed accordingly along the Thamalakane river corridor.

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