Rural Botswana gain access to running water

Residents of Habu in Botswana can now enjoy reliable water supply thanks to a recently completed water project. The project serves about 1 500 people in north-west Botswana. JG Afrika’s Botswana office completed the project in partnership with local firm, Initiatives. The latter was acting on behalf of the Paul G Allen Family Foundation through its Philanthropy program.

The simple system comprises five tanks on stands that supply taps located at a central point for each of the five wards. Solar energy powers the manual switch-fitted pumps. The system will provide a reference for more water-security measures in other rural areas of Botswana.

Also read: Botswana urged to practice water conservation and harvesting

Working together for success

Executive associate at JG Afrika Botswana, Robyn Tompkins, says that the project has again demonstrated that development initiatives in rural regions of southern Africa stand a greater chance of success. Tompkins said this is only plausible with a larger overlap between the political, social and technical aspects.

According to Tompkins, political endorsement, was necessary for them to proceed with the social components. Furthermore, the success was reliant on the development of an effective governance system and toolkit to train the committee.

Empowering the community

The manual system does not intimidate community caretakers and also ensures that they are in constant contact with the infrastructure.  Community members are also able to easily maintain and repair the infrastructure. This decreases the overall unit costs of the infrastructure.

Labour-based construction methods were also used to excavate the trench for the pipeline. While creating many short-term employment opportunities in Habu, this approach ensured that the population knew exactly where the pipeline had been laid to help maintain and avoid damaging the infrastructure.

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