Lands ministry proposes P17 billion for its TNDP

Selected villages, towns and cities around the country will have an added advantage over others through the envisaged land development and service programme estimated to cost billions of Pula.

This particular programme is budgeted for P2.350 billion covering land servicing at Metsimothabe, Mmopane, Ledumadumane, Gantsi, Maun CBD, Mochudi, Palapye, Ramotswa (Seuwane), Kasane (Nnyungwe), Kasane Plateau, Francistown, Segoditshane, Gaborone Master Plan, Letlhakane (Letsibogo), as well as the SPEDU and SEZA areas.

The amount forms part of the P17.801 billion that the Minister of Lands and Water Affairs, Dr. Kefentse Mzwinila asked Parliament to approve from the Public Investment funding as part of his ministry’s Transitional National Development Plan.

Submitting his proposal, Mzwinila said the Land Development and Land Servicing Programme involves provision of minimal or full land services which entails a range of infrastructure in the form of roads, water, sewage, power and telecommunication which is necessary for economic development.

Land servicing will be done at selected villages and towns/cities; and it shall cover various land uses such as commercial, industrial, residential and civic and community.

Mzwinila said the mandate for his Ministry consists of two objectives being: to improve access to land and promote effective land-use; and to ensure availability of water and sanitation services to facilitate socio-economic development.

Among the challenges, is that more and more people become economically independent as the economy continues to grow and livelihoods generally improve, and consequently seek to either invest in or acquire land assets for various purposes.

"One of our biggest challenges during NDP11 has been the inability to speedily avail land due to issues relating to the processes involved in preparing the land for allocation, land acquisition, planning, assessment and surveying," he said.

Further, delays in land acquisition as a result of and parcel owners not willing to surrender the land due to dissatisfaction with the compensation rates offered by Government.

In addition high demand existed for serviced land for residential, industrial and commercial purposes, which has exceeded available supply across both rural and urban areas, as well as increased concentration of people in and around peri-urban and urban centres who placed pressure on basic services, among others.

Mzwinila said the cost of providing water and sanitation infrastructure for Botswana is relatively high due to the country’s large size and very low population density. Water tariffs in the country are not reflective of the cost of water provision as they are heavily subsidized. He said a range of alternative financing options for water projects will need to be sought. It will be important to avoid supplying highly subsidised water to commercial users, which could lead to unsustainable fiscal obligations in future.

Mzwinila said they have come up with Development of Additional Water Sources which is intended to improve access to potable water and attainment of water security for the long- term.

Other projects to be implemented under this programme include the completion of projects that commenced in NDP 11. New project proposals under this programme include: Namibia-Botswana Water Saline Desalination;

Chobe Zambezi Water Transfer Scheme; Lesotho-Botswana Water Transfer Scheme; and Rainwater/storm water harvesting in Gaborone, Sowa, Kgalagadi, Boteti with an estimated total cost of delivering the projects at P8.457bn.

Mzwinila said the objective of this programme is to rehabilitate and expand water sources in the country in order to improve efficiency of existing water infrastructure and also to ensure continuity of supply.

Further that the programme is budgeted P4.230 billion to finance the completion of the ongoing Maun Water and Sanitation, as well new network expansion and rehabilitation for six major centres being Kanye, Tutume, North

East, Molepolole, Gaborone, Francistown and Selebi Phikwe.

The Ministry Facilities programme is also aimed at developing new offices and document storage facilities and optimisation of existing storage spaces through renovations and upgrading. The projects under the programme include: Development of Record Centres in Tawana, Ghanzi, Tlokweng, Tati, Chobe, Kgalagadi and Gaborone; Refurbishment of Surveys and Mapping Building; Development of Land Board Offices in Tawana, Tsabong, Letlhakeng at an estimated cost of P277million

While the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Development- Projects entails Expansion of the Land Information System (LIS) and provision of equipment for Land Boards and Departments. The objective of the

Programme is to facilitate the digital identification, categorisation, storage and archiving, retrieval, analysis and utilization of all land and water information resources for organizational efficiency and increased customer satisfaction is estimated to cost P55million.

With the Sustainable Land Use Management estimated to cost P679million and the programme is aimed at facilitating orderly and progressive land use planning and management for optimal utilization of land. It consists of projects such as Land Acquisition, Preparation of Development Plans, Layouts, Regional Plans, Cadastral Plans, Strategic Environmental Assessments, Plot Surveying and production of maps.

On clean Water and Sanitation, Mzwinila said the programme seeks to safeguard the integrity of water sources through minimization of wastewater disposal practices that pose pollution risks. It also aims at improving access to sanitation services through development of additional sanitation infrastructure, optimization of existing infrastructure networks, environmental protection and development of facilities for reclamation of re-use of waste water.

The programme is budgeted P1.575 billion for development or upgrading / rehabilitation of sanitation facilities ongoing in Kanye Sanitation, Moshupa Sanitation, Glen Valley Wastewater Reclamation and new projects at Molepolole, Gaborone, Selebi Phikwe and Francistown.

An estimated cost of P178million is needed for Water Resource Management, and the programme aims at attaining efficiencies of water resource planning, development, distribution and optimal usage through legislative and policy reforms, institutional strengthening and strategy formulation and implementation.

Projects under this programme include Development of a Total Water Management System, Development of a Water and Sanitation Master Plan and Onsite Sanitation Management Assessment and they are budgeted a total of P178 million.