Building Tomorrow (SADC Water Sector)

Tsetsebjwe is my hometown in Botswana. It is a beautiful place where my parents have lived for ages. Things are far better during the rainy season. Winter is a challenge because we have a water shortage. Morning! Morning dear, how are you? Good! You look so happy today! I am excited because today is a beautiful day! I’m going now, have a good day! Same to you my dear! Life in Tsetsebjwe is good as most people depend on farming. In our area there are no rivers around. We only have underground water. The underground water is far cleaner than the river water. I wonder if it wasn’t for this underground water… …how would we have survived? Without water our lives would be very difficult. Even though there are no rivers around… …where I’m sitting, there’s lots of water! Long ago we used to get water from wells. Women were the ones fetching water from those wells. It takes time to fetch water to bathe and cook for one’s children. She will not get enough time to do other chores. It is challenging to depend on well water. You cannot plough depending on well water… …as the water is not enough for crops and vegetables. It is really terrible for us during the dry season. Now, I remember experiencing drought three times… …and the most memorable was in 2012. We had 32 cows. Now we are only left with five. The people in our area were complaining about the loss of their livestock. You would wonder where your next meal would come from. When the kids came back from school, they would have nothing to eat. Honestly, there is a massive water shortage. Today we are ecstatic about the SADC Groundwater Project… The opportunity that I have been longing for is here! Today we are very happy about the SADC Groundwater Project… …which created borehole infrastructure for us to have access to water. With this infrastructure we will be able to grow vegetables and crops. We will be able to sell to the community, feed our families… …and live a better life. Is everyone here? Yes! We all know that our country experiences drought. I encourage all to start farming… …and sell to our community and our country at large. I plead with everyone to start farming and save our people. My people, let us go farm! We, the youth of Tsetsebjwe, will join forces… …to fight poverty and unemployment by starting our own farm… …and by utilising the infrastructure that was provided… …by the SADC Groundwater Project. We will also be mentored. What excites me is that we have a windmill, borehole… …and water storage tanks. We will not run out of water! We will water our small farm holdings without worry. I wish other areas could also have the same infrastructure… …so that they can also be self-empowered and self-sustainable. My name is Florence Lubinda Mwiya. I love living here, and these waters are part of my daily life. I am used to this life… …from this river we get fish… …and reeds to make mats and build our homes with. Long ago the floods weren’t as bad as it is nowadays. In 2009 we had the worst flood… …which affected almost 300 000 people. Good morning, good morning! Hello you two! What a lovely day! Yes! Yes! How are you? Very well, thank you! The headman has called an urgent meeting… Oh! Meeting! …at the meeting place. We must go, right now! Thank you all. I am headman Salufu from Khuta of Bukala. I greet you this afternoon… …and it is my pleasure meeting you here. Good afternoon people. We are from the government. Our neighbouring countries have informed us… …that they have had a lot of rainfall in the eastern part of Angola… …and the western part of Zambia. The water is also rising in Matonga and Chavuma. Our HYCOS stations show us the rise of water is at an alarming level. This is very important for your lives… …you and your families depend on this information. You should act quickly regarding… …these early warning messages about the approaching flood. If you have your own boat, then don’t wait for the government to come… …by the time the government sends boats… …they should already find us evacuated. I thank you. Today there is an early warning system in place… …so it’s easy for us to evacuate before the floodwaters engulf us. The early warning system has improved our lives as we are… …now capable of taking better care of our lives and our belongings. Sometimes our chief would tell us to evacuate to higher ground… …but we did not understand why as we felt that living near water… …is good for us, but now we are aware… …of the dangers the floodwaters carry. We understand the importance of the early warning system. Hi, how are you? I’m fine. Let’s go save water! How are you Gogo? Good! And you ladies? Are you still saving water? Yes, I still am ladies! We appreciate it. There is a leak here! Look here and there. There is water all over! What is going on here Mmampe? Look at this leak! How are you Mama? I am fine, how are you ladies? We noticed a leaking tap and water running outside the house. It is the leaking tap and the toilet. Can we please inspect your house? Yes. This tap is broken! Look! The bathroom is even worse! These taps are also broken! Darkzen, please come. The house opposite Makie. There are leaks everywhere. The damage is so bad because there is water all over. How wonderful!

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