oa Botswana Notes & Records - Solar desalination for the provision of drinking water to small settlements in the Kgalagadi Desert Botswana

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0525-5090



This paper reports on a three year programme to establish whether solar desalination is a viable technology for use in remote settlements in Botswana. Three such settlements were equipped with desalination plants and their impact and technical performance were monitored. Two settlements quickly adapted to the effect use of the stills. Whereas the third which had stills in individual households and not as communal installation, was not successful. The reasons for the success and failure were carefully examined. Extensive training was given not only to the end users, but to the government and council officers who must indirectly support the technology in the long term. In this way desalination was accepted in the national water supply infrastructure and government money made available for construction of new sites. Modular fibreglass stills were used for ease of installation and for their reliability. Performance was good with efficiencies of 55 percent. Some brick stills were also built, but poor materials and a lack of skilled labour made these unreliable. The stills were also used for seasonal rain water catchment, and at one Site the salt residues were sold and profits used for further village development.

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