The Botswana Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services hosted an event on 20th March to celebrate the formal handover of the Habu Community Water Supply infrastructure to the Government of Botswana.
JG Afrika designed and developed the scheme that has been successfully managed by the Habu community for two years to provide a reliable supply of water to the remote settlement even in the prevailing drought conditions.
Ms Bogadi Mathangwane, Director of the Department of Water Affairs, said that the stellar performance of the scheme had provided the Botswana authorities with ample evidence that they now have a potential blueprint for community-managed water supply schemes in rural areas.
“When Robyn Tompkins initially presented this concept to me in 2015, I wondered if it could be done, because we had tried this model in other communities and it hadn’t worked. However, she presented a clear roadmap of how they could work; and today, I see it has,” Ms Mathangwane said.
Tompkins, a Water, Sanitation and Health development expert, led the JG Afrika team that was appointed by Initiatives to assist in the design and development of this first-of-a-kind water-supply project for the larger Habu community on behalf of the Paul Allen Family Foundation’s Philanthropy programme.
At the event, Attie Jonker, Managing Director of Franklin Electric and Executive Director of the Franklin Wells for the World Foundation, again expressed his unwavering commitment to this water scheme as one of Franklin Wells for the World Foundation’s showcase projects.
Franklin Electric was contracted by JG Afrika to install the borehole pumps and Franklin Wells for the World Foundation donated borehole infrastructure. This is in addition to that supplied by the Paul G Allen Family Foundation, allowing the project team to install two boreholes. The two boreholes provide more than ample water supply to this large community comprising about 1 500 people.
Notably, Jonker 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 (SAICE) annual awards in 2018.
Framed copies of the award certificate were presented to Mr Keemisetswe Khootla, the Assistant Chief and Headman of Arbitration in Habu; and to Dr Obolokile Obakeng, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services. This is considering that it was very much a team effort, which harmonised Social, Political and Technical aspects, to bring home this milestone project.
A cornerstone of the success of the water scheme in Habu is the significant attention that JG Afrika gave to the social aspects, which actually took the lead on this project and ensured the necessary community buy-in.
In addition to involving the community in the project right from the outset, JG Afrika developed a robust governance framework for the scheme and a toolkit to train representatives of the dedicated water-user committee, comprising two caretakers and five water monitors. These members of the community also underwent technical training in the basic maintenance of the infrastructure at installation.
Held at a Kogtla in Habu village, the event was also attended by representatives of the Water Utilities Corporation and Ruth Stewart, Managing Director of Initiatives.