From the 9th to 17 of November this year, UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation Leo Heller will be visiting Botswana.
Visiting the country at the invitation of Botswana authorities, Heller is set to come to Botswana to look at policies and practices of water management and allocation, as well as disparities in access to sanitation and water between urban and rural areas. He is also set to focus on the marginalized groups of people in terms of access to water and sanitation.
Heller will be meeting with Government representatives, communities, international organisations and traditional leaders in different parts of the country. Namely; Gaborone, Kasane, Maun, New Xade, Xade, Ghanzi and Shaikarawe.
Interestingly, he will be visiting the country a month after Botswana and South Africa meet to discuss cutting water from Molatedi Dam in the North West – a cut that has severely affected the access to close to 500 000 people in Botswana’s capital Gaborone, and its surrounding areas. The dam also accounted to 16% of the areas daily supply.
Shortly before the additional loss in supply, the country’s vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi visited the village of Goo-Kodisa in August to discuss the water crisis. According to The Daily News Masisi offered short-term solutions such as including water tanks during the design of their houses to harvest rain water. He informed the residents that a number of projects in water access are ongoing including the drilling of Masama boreholes, but reminded the residents that infrastructure isn’t enough and called for Batswana to pray for rain.
Upon the conclusion of his nine-day visit, Leo Heller will share his preliminary findings at a press conference at the United Nations premises on 17th November, 11.30 am. A comprehensive report which will include recommendations to the government will be submitted in September next year, at the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.