Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services (MLWS) hosted more than 200 stakeholders on the 20th of March, 2017 for the annual ‘Water Pitso’ as part of a series of events to commemorate World Water Day.
This year’s Pitso was themed “Sustainable interventions to address water losses.” Pitso is a Setswana word for ‘consultation,’ which is an integral part of our national culture. The Pitso was held in Mahalapye and attended by various stakeholders stemming from local government authorities, Directors and CEOs of water resources agencies and water services authorities, private sector representatives, and community leaders.
The Assistant Minister of the hosting ministry, Honourable Moipisi officiated at the event and among other, he highlighted the milestones in water resources planning, development and management. He mentioned some of the projects in the sector such as refurbishment of water supply infrastructure in various management centres, North South Carrier 2.1 and 2.2 to augment water supply to Gaborone from Dikgatlhong Dam, Chobe Zambezi transfer scheme and the Somarela Thothi project. The latter is spearheaded by the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) in partnership with First National Bank of Botswana and GIZ and involves social and technical measures for water demand management.
The discussions at the Pitso centred on the need to ACT and implement integrated water resources management (IWRM) to ensure the sustainability of our water resources, to reduce non-venue water and optimise groundwater utilisation. The need to shift towards drought/flood preparedness as opposed to crisis management was also emphasised, particularly that global climate change calamity is upon us. Finally, reference was made to the recently approved Water Policy, that its implementation is imperative for sustainable development of the water sector.
Prepared by: Tshepo Setlhogile