Basic switchgear can also be maintained
and repaired without having to rely
on highly-skilled technicians that are
mainly only located in Botswana’s major
commercial centres, thus decreasing the
overall unit costs of the infrastructure.
Tompkins points to a number of steps
taken by the Botswana government
that support the wider introduction of
this approach to water delivery in rural
“The Integrated Water Resources
Management & Water Efficiency Plan,
which identifies water-user associations
and committees as a feasible solution
to the challenges that have hindered
attempts to ensure water-security in these
areas, was developed by the Botswana
Government in 2013. Meanwhile, the
country’s authorities are also in the
process of developing a water-catchment
model in which water-user associations
and committees are an important sub-
component of the management of the
country’s water resources,” she says.
The Botswana Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services hosted an
event on 20 March to celebrate the formal handover to the Government of Botswana, of
the Habu Community Water Supply infrastructure.
underwent technical training in the
basic maintenance of the infrastructure
Community members pay for their
consumption by registering with a water
association and then present a stamped
token to the monitors who open the taps
at 09:00 and lock them at 18:00.
A simple water-supply scheme was
developed that can be easily operated
and maintained by trained members of
It consists of five tanks on stands that
supply taps located at a central point
for each of Habu’s five wards, while the
pumps are powered by solar energy with
A manual system is easy to operate
and ensures that community caretakers
are in constant contact with the system,
while their daily walk along the pipe
servitude to the pump switching station
allows them to detect any concerns that
they are able to report timeously to the
Framed copies of the award certificate were presented to Keemisetswe Khootla,
assistant chief and headman of Arbitration in Habu and Dr Obakeng, permanent
secretary of the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services.
Water Sewage & Effluent May/June 2019
In addition, the World Bank approved a
USD145.5-million loan to the Botswana
government in 2017 to improve water
availability in drought-vulnerable areas, many
of which are in rural areas of the country.
Notably, part of this loan will be used to fund
the augmentation or rehabilitation of existing
water schemes in select areas of Botswana,
and it is possible that the new model could
be incorporated into this component of the
project that is expected to benefit more than
450 000 people in the country.
The fund will also be used to implement
measures to interlink, protect and secure
surface and groundwater resources. This
is in addition to strengthening institutional
capacity at a ground level to improve the
efficiency of services and sustainability of
the country’s water resources.
Meanwhile, Tompkins is planning to
host a workshop for representatives of
the WUC and the Department of Water
and Sanitation, the latter is the owner of
the Habu scheme to fine-tune the service
Important experiences could also be
drawn from the successful community-
based water-supply schemes in the
neighbouring Kavango and Zambezi
regions in Namibia, where community
managed water supply is a national policy.
The Namibian model initially helped
influence and shape the Habu project
model, which was adapted for the
Botswana context by JG Afrika. Tompkins
also sees immense potential to incorporate
technologies that have been used
successfully in other African countries and
elsewhere in the world into the programme
to bolster monitoring and evaluation of
these water-supply projects.
Community management of the scheme
can significantly improve monitoring
and evaluation, which will help identify
weaknesses timeously, improve repair
turnaround times and identify best-practices
that could be implemented in other areas.
At the event, Jonker again expressed
his unwavering commitment to this water
scheme as one of Franklin Wells for the
World Foundation’s showcase projects.
He also lauded JG Afrika for its stellar
performance in Habu and congratulated
the firm for the award it received for
outstanding engineering in a community-
based project at the South African
Institution of Civil Engineering annual
awards in 2018.
Framed copies of the award certificate
were presented to Keemisetswe Khootla,
assistant chief and headman of Arbitration
in Habu and to Dr Obakeng, because it was
very much a team effort, which harmonised
social, political and technical aspects, to
bring home this milestone project.