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- New anticipated completion date – April 2024
- Boreholes found to be in bad condition- cause delay
- 12 new boreholes had to be drilled, equipped
- Infrastructure commissioned, in use for early benefit.
- Well field water was beyond acceptable standards
The Maun Water Supply and Sanitation (MWSS) project which was initially billed to be completed in February this year, will now be completed in April 2024, according to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s State of the Nation address (SONA).
In his address, Masisi reiterated that the project will improve water supply and sanitation services for Maun and the surrounding villages, adding that the water infrastructure from the project, is being commissioned and in use for early benefit.
Following the address, Member of Parliament for Maun East, Goretetse Kekgonegile asked the minister of Minister of Lands and Water Affairs, Kefentse Mzwinila a question on the details of the project progress in parliament.
Kekgonegile wanted to know; the progress made in addressing water shortage challenges in Maun and surrounding villages; in particular, the minister to state the reasons behind the 12-month delay in the completion.
Furthermore, the Maun East legislator, wanted to know about the Maun Water Works Contract 2 and the new completion date; measures being taken to alleviate the extreme shortage of water in Disana, Boseja, Matshwane and Gxhabara Wards.
He also wanted to know the cubic meters to be accessed through the completion of Contract 2 about the total quantity needed by Maun on a normal day and elaboration on where the shortfall will be sourced; recommendations emanating from the project reviews given the challenges currently experienced; and progress of Contracts 1, 3 and 4 and if they will meet set deadlines; if not, why not and what mitigating measures are being put in place to alleviate the negative impacts of such delays.
In response, Mzwinila revealed that the Maun water supply contract 2 project was delayed due to the bad condition of boreholes established in an assessment through camera surveys undertaken to find out the integrity of the boreholes. He said during the exercise it was discovered that the boreholes were not in good condition, hence the project took a decision to re-drill 12 replacement boreholes to secure the required amount of water.
Mzwinila further indicated that after drilling the new boreholes, the water tests showed that the new boreholes contained elements which were above the drinking water standard limits, BOS 32:2015, which is way above in terms of Sodium, Nickel, Cadmium, Arsenic, and Lead, which were not in the original determinants at the start of the tender.
The elements could not be treated by the aeration and filtration process that was initially anticipated, resulting in a variation to the water treatment plant process to include a Reverse Osmosis Plant.
“The project further suffered a delay in the electrification of boreholes, due to the requirement for Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to carry out an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) in addition to the approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project to extend and install new power supply to the newly drilled boreholes. The EMP authorization has been received and BPC has commenced the works,” he said.
The minister further indicated that the requirement of a new Reverse Osmosis Plant to treat toxic elements such as Nickel, Cadmium, Arsenic, and Lead is the longest lead item and is expected to be completed by June 2024 adding that in the meantime, boreholes with acceptable water quality have been connected and are supplying water to the village.
Despite the challenges faced by the project, Mzwinila noted that the ministry has put in place measures for early beneficiation of infrastructure already completed using diesel generators to power the boreholes and a total of eight boreholes have been commissioned producing a total of 4.224 million liters per day adding that among these boreholes are in Kunyere North wellfield with a combined yield of 2.608 million liters per day and 5 of the boreholes are in Shashe/Gogomoga wellfield producing 1.616 million liters per day.
Mzwinila said to facilitate early benefit, as President Masisi alluded in his address, the project constructed a 1.6 km pipeline tapping off from the 450 mm diameter pipeline from Shashe Booster Station to New Disaneng Tank & Booster Station site to feed the tanks at Matshwane Ward which in turn supply parts of Boseja, Matshwane, and Gxhabara Wards. While Disaneng Ward will fully benefit from the project after the completion of the commissioning of Disaneng Pump station and storage tanks. Commissioning of Disaneng pump station and tanks started in September 2023 and expected to be completed during November 2023.
“Commissioning is not moving as fast as expected due to the need to balance water supply to customers and the needs of the project. The other measure being implemented is water rationing for equitable distribution of water to ensure minimal impact on customers. Furthermore, browsing is done at strategic points and at critical institutions to prevent business disruption,” he indicated.