Promoting the sustainable development of Botswana’s water resources is the objective of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded to Botswana’s Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. The $500,000 grant will be used to partially fund technical assistance to the ministry on a borehole rehabilitation project.

“USTDA recognizes the importance of water resource management to economic growth and development,” says USTDA director Thelma Askey. “This grant will support these objectives in Botswana by introducing technologies and developing the human capacity necessary to rehabilitate and maintain boreholes that will produce a safe and reliable water supply.”

Given the climatic conditions in Botswana, ground water, as opposed to surface water, is the primary source of potable and industrial water supply. The country’s Department of Water Affairs (DWA) owns, operates and maintains thousands of deep, wide-diameter boreholes throughout the nation. The boreholes require rehabilitation and maintenance to prevent clogging by biological matter, incrustation or corrosion from inhibiting the flow of ground water. To date, there has not been a successful rehabilitation program in Botswana. As a result, the average lifespan of a borehole in Botswana is about 10 years, vs. the international norm of 30 years.

The goal of the USTDA-supported technical assistance program is to rehabilitate at least 35 boreholes in Botswana on a pilot basis. The pilot program will include training DWA personnel in borehole operation, maintenance and rehabilitation, and the establishment of a system-wide borehole rehabilitation master plan for DWA.

Roscoe Moss Co. has been selected to carry out the technical assistance program. In addition to the USTDA grant awarded, Roscoe Moss and the government of Botswana will provide substantial additional resources toward the completion of the technical assistance program.