J.R. Atlhopheng (Botswana)
Transboundary Rivers, MDGs, semi-arid climate.
The river is a source of water –thus sustains life in semi
arid terrains. Most of the rivers, traverse basins that cut
across country borders – hence shared or transboundary
rivers. In addition, several districts or zones within the
same country have populations depending on the same
river. Thus there is need to work in line with the dynamics
of natural river systems for long-term sustenance, low
operational costs and retention of the river aesthetics.
Rivers are useful as political borders, ecological
resources, flood control and offer suitable sites for
damming. Waters in rivers call for a regional basin
management to avoid conflict, as demand outstrips supply
in the semi-arid region of Botswana and southern Africa
in general. This has implications for Millennium
Development Goals, especially target 10 on adequate
quality water provision and sanitary issues – that the
water transfers across river basins and borders should
necessarily uplift the poor. The water demand
management schemes for governing waters do not benefit
the poor and the rich equitably, with the former losing in
major water schemes.