Panafrican News Agency

Botswana ministry conserves water to meet climate change challenges

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - Botswana's Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism has taken a water conservation initiative to meet the challenging negative results of climate change.

As a pilot project, the ministry has set up six tanks, each with a capacity of holding 10,000 litres of water at its laboratories in Gaborone. The tanks harvest rain water from the roof of office buildings.

Speaking on Friday at the launch of the rain water harvesting, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Thato Raphaka said the launch was particularly special because the nearby outdoor gym and the water conservation initiative are the first of their kind in his ministry.

“The rain water harvesting initiative is a cost saving measure with the aim of utilizing the harvested water for flushing the ablution facilities. This is a very important project as government greatly encourages ministries to identify areas where cost savings could be realized,” said  Raphaka.

The permanent secretary went on to say that the successful implementation of the initiative will ensure prudent utilization of government financial resources and could serve as a demonstration project for other institutions to emulate.

On the out gym initiative, Raphaka said the  government places high priority on employee wellness programmes and as a further commitment towards the employee welfare and wellness the government took a deliberate decision to ensure that each ministry  has a dedicated Safety, Health and Environment officer.

“The initiative of an outdoor gym will go a long way in promoting a healthy lifestyle of employees in this department and other employees in this ministry.  Investment  in wellness programmes in today’s work environment with its ever hectic and overwhelming work pressures should be accorded the highest priority as it has immense benefits in promoting both the physical, mental and psycho-social well being of the workforce,” he said.

According to Raphaka, there was increasing evidence that non-communicable and chronic diseases increasingly became a major cause of concern in Botswana with health statistics indicating high morbidity and mortality.

“The chronic diseases are attributed to our lifestyle patterns characterised by poor physical activity and mainly sedentary ways of living. Stress at the workplace due to pressures associated with hectic schedules and tight deadlines is also proving to be an increasing psycho-social problem which not only affects the employee’s productivity but can also have negative effects on the relationship of the affected employee with their family members and colleagues,”  Raphaka said.

-0- PANA MS/AR 8Mar2019