World Bank, Botswana Study Company Stakes in Zambezi Pipeline

Botswana and the World Bank are undertaking a due diligence on whether to grant private companies equity in a 16 billion pula ($1.5 billion) water pipeline to be built from the Zambezi River in neighboring Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The study will be based on feasibility plans produced for the project, Thatayaone Dedede, Botswana’s minerals, energy and water resources deputy permanent secretary, said in an interview Thursday in the capital, Gaborone.

The Southern African Development Community, whose members include Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, in 2009 granted Botswana’s formal request to draw 495 million cubic meters of water a year from the river to supply the country’s arid southern regions by 2023.

Botswana has been hit by water rationing that’s caused seven-hour supply cuts in Gaborone and surrounding areas on about four days a week. The central bank in May said water shortages were a threat to the country’s economic growth this year, together with electricity.

— With assistance by Mbongeni Mguni

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