News.Jun 21, 2016

SIWI receives excellence award from government of Botswana

SIWI’s four-year partnership with Botswana’s Department of Water Affairs, spanning from capacity building to the development of a water pricing strategy, has been awarded with a certificate of excellence by the country’s government.

In Botswana’s capital Gaborone, the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Mr Kitso Mokaila recently officiated at an annual national event called the Water Pitso (Setswana for consultation) where national water agencies account for their performance to stakeholders (such as farmers’ associations, agricultural training and research institutes, local councillors, and mining companies) and incorporate their views into annual work plans. It is an unusual event – participants interact directly with the Minister and directors of water agencies.

At the Water Pitso Minister Mokaila awarded SIWI with a certificate of excellence recognizing a four-year partnership SIWI has with the Department of Water Affairs.

In last year’s Pitso, the Minister acknowledged SIWI as a key partner of the Botswana water sector that had made an immense contribution to capacity development. The current phase of a partnership programme between SIWI and the Department of Water Affairs is putting in place the building blocks for a water pricing strategy, developing catchment (watershed) management committees and developing planning processes to make wastewater management and sanitation provision more efficient.

A third phase of the SIWI- Department of Water Affairs partnership is in the making, and includes strong groundwater management and stakeholder engagement components.

Botswana is a semi-arid country set to experience increasing scarcity. The national currency, the Pula, means rain – showing the significance that citizens place on water resources. In Gaborone, where the Pitso was held, water restrictions have had to be instituted because of water shortages.