- Kedikilwe impressed with strides made
Botswana may not entirely be a wholly educated, healthy and wealthy piece of paradise in the next four years but, according to Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, the nation has made significant progress to ensure a dignified welfare of its citizens by the year 2016.
Although he landed in a helicopter on his way from Gaborone, Kedikilwe was ferried to the celebrations centre in a donkey cart amid ululations as elated villagers and representatives from various government departments welcomed him to the official launch of the Vision 2016 awareness month. After a tour of the stalls, the Vice President told the gathering that the nation had performed relatively well under each of the seven pillars of the national vision.
The VP who is also the Minister of minerals, Energy an d Water Resources said about P90 million worth of 1.3 MW Photovoltaic Power Plant was commissioned in August and that under NDP 10 government intended to increase national access to electricity from 60 to 80 per cent by 2016 and to achieve 100 per cent self-reliance in electricity generation by 2013.
“It is against this background that government introduced the P5 000 National Electricity Connection Cost effective October 2010 to enable households to afford electricity connections,” he said.
He further explained that currently 350 villages in Botswana were connected to the power grid and that 28 villages would be electrified in 2012/2013 fiscal year.
Under the ongoing Water Sector Reforms Programme, Kedikilwe said government had made it a point that most villages had access to potable water while there was notable progress in ensuring that all villages in country are connected.
He also stated that villages had been migrated to an adopted business integration technology called Systems Applications Product that allowed Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) customers to pay their water bills at any WUC revenue office nationally, thus bringing services closer to the people, which move was in line with Vision 2016.
Kedikilwe said the construction of the 40 million cubic litres Lotsane Dam and the 400 million cubic litres Dikgatlhong Dam have been completed while the 90 million cubic litres Thune Dam would be completed by next April.
Besides the provision of water for consumption, Lotsane Dam will also provide water for irrigation for a 250 hectare agronomy project in the area, while the Thune Dam will provide water for a 350 hectare plantation project, he said.
He also noted that Dikgatlhong Dam would provide water to the North South Carrier, which would feed places in the Central District and further down south to Gaborone and the greater Gaborone areas as well as villages such as Moleoplole, Moshupa, Kanye among others.
The Vice President noted that government had secured water from the Chobe-Zambezi River to be used for the planned Zambezi Integrated Agro-Commercial development project at Pandamatenga, and also ultimately be linked to the North South Carrier.
On other issues, Dr Kedikilwe noted that children should start education at pre-school level as pre-schools play a pivotal role in childrens education. This, he said, was in line with Vision 2016 Pillar of an educated and informed nation.
Government will continue to take care of orphaned children and the poor. It is also making strides in alleviating poverty by providing programmes such as back yard gardening and ISPAAD.
He urged those who have befitted from programmes such as LIMID to take care of their livestock so that they can in turn sell to the prospective beneficiaries so that the programme can continuously be rolled out to other people.
He acknowledged the fact that Batswana are a united people who live in peace and tranquility which paves the way for democracy, progress and developments to take place, a move which is in line with Vision 2016 mandate.
Dr Kedikilwe expressed gratitude for Vision 2016 to be commemorated in Robelela, which is in his constituency, adding that the event was held for the nation to take stock of its achievements with a view to improve on areas lagging behind.
More importantly, this is a time for introspection on what individuals, communities, civil society, governmental, non-governmental organisations and private sector can do together in contribution to the achievement of the goals of Vision 2016, he said, adding that everyone must make it a point that they live Vision 2016.