Water Harvesting and Recycling for Small Scale Irrigation


  • Reference: P-BW-AAC-003
  • Appraisal Date: 01/05/2018
  • Board Presentation: 01/09/2018
  • Status: PipelinePIPE
  • Implementing Agency: GOVERNMENT OF BOTSWANA
  • Location: Botswana


A.Water Recycling

(i)The project will install a water purification plant in each of the water treatment sites already in place in the following 4 towns: -Lobatse -Selibe-Phikwe -Serowe -Tonota

A purification plant will be installed in each of the above to reduce pollution hazards by purifying water from heavy metals and other unsafe material. Water so purified will be available for irrigation purposes.

(ii)Lined channels will be constructed to convey the purified water to the edge of irrigable farms. The farms will be demarcated (plot sizes to be determined) and distributed to smallholder farmers to engage in irrigated farming. The surface area to be irrigated will be determined by the amount of water that will be recovered from the purification process

B.Water Harvesting

(i)The project will finance installation of some sand spears to collect water from the sand from River Motloutse; construct two reservoirs, each holding 1,000 cubic metres of water, beyond the banks of the river; and construct canals to convey water to the edge of the irrigation fields. Since little information is available on the amount of water that can be harvested from this river, this activity of the project will be on a pilot basis to irrigate 10 hectares in the vicinity of the River.

(ii)A reservoir will be constructed to collect and store water collected in the drainage system constructed around the town of Selibe Phikwe by the council. Funds will also be provided to extend the drainage so that all the water can be directed to the reservoir. Canals will then be constructed to convey water from the reservoir for agriculture purposes.

(iii)While there is high potential to harvest rainwater from the hill slopes during the rainy season for storage, there is not enough information on the appropriate localities for such water harvesting and the availability of irrigable land in the vicinity of such areas. The project will therefore include a feasibility study to gather the required information on the best means to collect and store such water. Terms of Reference for such a study will be prepared during the project preparation stage.

C.Market and Agro-Processing

Although there is identified need to provide market and agro-processing support, the appropriate areas for intervention are not clear. The project will therefore include a market study. The study will assess the constraints and propose the best way to support farmers in these areas. Terms of Reference for such a study will be prepared during the project preparation stage.

D.Capacity Building

(i)The University of Botswana will organise a training workshop on Water Harvesting Techniques for the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture at the district level.

(ii)The trained staff of the Ministry of Agriculture will periodically (frequency and other details will be agreed during preparation) will train beneficiary farmers on the above same areas.


In the context of removing infrastructure bottlenecks to enhance competitiveness and growth, which is one of the pillars for the Government's diversification programme, the project aims at: - alleviating constrains to business activity in agriculture - providing infrastructure that contribute toward improving the Government's agriculture sector - maximizing benefits from the country's poorly utilized resources. The project objective is to increase food production and incomes of the local population through irrigation.


Although Botswana's reliance on its mineral wealth has allowed it to achieve significant development, this development has not necessarily been equaly and widely shared. High unemployment and proverty, espacially in rural areas are a challenge - with about one-third of the population living below the poverty line. Given that diamond production is likely to cease in 2030, growth in non-diamond sectors will need to accelerate significantly in order to avoid a contraction of the economy. The Government of Botswana has identified agriculture, among others, as the main potential sectors for diversification.


The project will support agriculture infrastructure and environmental protection activities, resulting in the full utilization of the planned infrastructure and selection of suitable profitable production scheme to sustain the investments in the future. The Bank will support, in collaboration with other partners active in this area, capacity building activities to enhance effectiveness of agriculture sector delivery and project implementation. These activities can be related to actual projects where increased capacity is required to support effective implementation. The project will be supported by the strong commitment of the Government to eradicate poverty and diversify the economy.

Key contacts

EGEH Mohamud Hussein - RDGS2

Estimated Cost

UAC 15,000,000