Water situation set to improve

waterBy Tsitsi Matope

MASERU — Pumping of water from the Mohokare River into Maqalika Dam started on Tuesday this week after the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority released raw water from the Muela Dam in Butha Buthe.

The release of water, which started on September 24, is going to help alleviate the raw water shortage in Maseru caused by drought during the last rainfall and the winter seasons.

In an interview yesterday Water and Sewerage Company spokesperson Lineo Moqasa confirmed the release of water, saying pumping from Mohokare River only started on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are pumping six litres of water per second from the Mohokare River into Maqalika and then to the Maseru water treatment works and from Ha Ratjomose,” she said.

One pump at a raw water pumping station commissioned in 2011 is currently pumping the water into Maqalika while the other pump is being fixed in South Africa.

The US$6 828 228.46 pump station, which failed to immediately pump water sometime last month when the water company noticed levels of water were low, was constructed to operate in case of emergencies such as drought and when Maqalika water is dirty.

“We hope with continued pumping, our two stations would be able to provide adequate water although we are still urging consumers to use water sparingly,” Moqasa said.

She said although the water situation is set to improve in Maseru, the water situation in Roma was desperate.

“We have started water rationing in Roma because the sources are depleted. We are hoping the situation will improve as soon as we start receiving rains, hopefully in a week or two.”

GWC Consulting engineers who designed the raw water pump station and supervised the construction by UNIK Engineering, could be seen monitoring the pumping at Maqalika yesterday morning.

Manmohan Bakaya of GWC said the company would continue to support and supervise operations at the pump station.

“We will continue providing technical support.

“As we speak, fixing of the other pump is almost finished and we are expecting it tomorrow (Friday),” Bakaya said.

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