Botswana’s land management, water and sanitation services minister, Kefentse Mzwinila, has asked Khato Civils to help his government in addressing challenges that citizens are facing to access clean and safe drinking water.
Mzwinila made the remarks at the ground breaking for the Water Utilities Corporation’s Masama 100km infrastructure project.
At least, 700, 000 people in Greater Gaborone will benefit from the successful execution of the water project.
According to statistics from the Botswana Government, 197 million litres of water per day is required in this region yet the current water supply stands at 130 million litres per day.
The Masama-Mmamashia 100km pipeline project is therefore seen as the solution for the 49 million litters daily deficit as it is envisaged that it will bring 64 million litres of water daily to the region.
Mzwinila said the project will significantly alleviate the water shortages in the area.
“We as the government have very high expectations and demands of you. You are taking on an emergency project. It is an emergency project in the sense that we are dealing with a deficit of 49 million litres per day. That by definition is an emergency project. Apart from it being an emergency, now that we are in a state of emergency, caused by Coronavirus, it is of utmost importance. It is a national security issue, that we have sustainable and reliable water to defend ourselves,” said the minister.
He emphasised that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s no longer just an emergency project, but a life or death project.
Mzwinila said to protect Botswana from the corona virus, the country need adequate and reliable water supply.
Over the years, there has been water rationing due to the shortage of water in Gaborone.
“The first line of defence, is the availability of water. The people of Greater Gaborone are waiting. It has taken some time for us to get here, but the important thing is that we are here now. You as the contractor should understand us, understand that this is not a normal project. Other aspects of the economy will be halted if we don’t get sufficient water.
“The Leather park in Lobatse, will be extremely dysfunctional if it does not get large amounts of water. This affects employment creation. There are infrastructure projects underway at the moment. For example, the Moshopa hospital is being built. It requires the availability of water.
”Other infrastructure projects on the continuum of all ministries rely on you to finish on time. So we are expecting that. Our people for a long time have not had sufficient water. They have not had water security. We are relying on you,” emphasised Mzwinila.
In his remarks, Khato Civils’ Executive Chairman, Simbi Phiri, assured the minister of the high quality work and delivered within the agreed time frame.
Phiri said Khato Civils is a step forward in engineering in the sense that it is a black owned company in a field that is dominated by whites and other races outside Africa.
He added that what sets the company apart from others is a commitment to excellence when given any engineering project, to execute it within time and within budget.
“I would like to assure you that we’ll complete the project within twelve months and beyond that, to uphold the best engineering quality management practices throughout all the phases of construction. The project is currently ahead of schedule. To ensure that the project is completed on schedule, four Tasmec Trenchers, fully owned by Khato Civils, have been brought to Botswana for the project. Each can trench up to 2km per day,” he said.
Phiri disclosed that to ensure the empowerment of locals, Khato Civils is paying the general workers a minimum of P3 000, in an environment where the standard is P1 500. The main contractor’s citizen partner (Evolution Engineering) on the project, has been allocated 30% of the project value.
Local procurement entities are also been empowered. Local subcontractors are also being engaged to ensure a significant amount of profit remains in Botswana. Over four hundred people have been employed so far on this project.
Through the company’s internship development programme, the project has provided 12 training opportunities for tertiary students in Safety, Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering, Land Surveying, Quality Control and Trenching Operation.
Following consultation with community leaders, Khato Civils has shortlisted Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives.
The company will spend P2.5 million towards Corporate Social Investment, in the four villages across the pipe route.
The initiative from the construction of a house for a destitute family to the construction of an ablution block at a primary school.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :