Thune Dam

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Thune Dam
Botswana physical map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Thune Dam in Botswana
Country Botswana
Location Central District
Coordinates 22°16′16″S28°48′02″E / 22.271098°S 28.800686°E / -22.271098; 28.800686 Coordinates: 22°16′16″S28°48′02″E / 22.271098°S 28.800686°E / -22.271098; 28.800686
Dam and spillways
Height 33.6 metres (110 ft)
Length 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi)
Total capacity 90,000,000 cubic metres (3.2×109 cu ft)

The Thune Dam is a dam on the Thune River in Botswana that was under construction in 2012. It has a planned capacity of 90,000,000 cubic metres (3.2×109 cu ft). [1]

Botswana republic in southern Africa

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, they maintain a tradition of stable representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa's oldest continuous democracy.



The dam is located on the Thune river upstream from its confluence with the Motloutse. The dam is situated in relatively flat country, and will have an average depth of about 15 metres (49 ft). Given the hot, dry climate, evaporation loss is a serious concern. Various ways to reduce such loss have been considered but rejected. The dam will be an earthfill clay-core structure. [2] It will be 33.6 metres (110 ft) high, with a 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) long wall and a 90,000,000 cubic metres (3.2×109 cu ft) capacity. [3]

Motloutse River river in Botswana

The Motloutse River is a river in Botswana, a tributary of the Limpopo River. The catchment area is 19,053 square kilometres (7,356 sq mi). The Letsibogo Dam on the Motloutse has been built to serve the industrial town of Selebi-Phikwe and surrounding local areas, with potential for use in irrigation.


The dam will supply drinking water to several villages in the Bobirwa area, and irrigation water to an agricultural project near Mathathane. [4] Once complete, water will be delivered to the villages of Bobonong, Motlhabaneng, Mathathane, Tsetsebjwe, Mabolwe, Semolale, Gobojango, Lepokole and Molalatau. [3]

The Bobirwa Sub District in Botswana is an area populated by the Babirwa (Ba-Birwa) people who came from Transvaal in present-day South Africa. Sebirwa which is spoken by Babirwa is one of the dialects of Northern Sotho like Bididi, Lobedu, Kgaga, Hananwa, Pedi, Phalaborwa, Pulana, Tshwapong, Kutswe, Phahladira, Pai, Kopa, Kubu, etc. Northern Sotho is one of the three Sesotho subgroups of Basotho and the two others are Western Sotho ,North West Province, small number of people in Matebeland Province of Zimbabwe and Southern Sotho. Basotho came from Ntswanatsatsi and Masilo is the founding father of Basotho. After moving away from the rest of the Basotho in Ntswanatsatsi, like other Basotho who were part of Northern Basotho subgroup the likes of Bapedi, Batlokwa etc the Babirwa settled in Nareng in Letswalo area near Tzaneen in present-day South Africa and from there they tracked further up North and settled in Blauwberg in present day Limpopo Province in South Africawere started to separate others remained in Blauwberg, living in the surrounding areas like Senwabarwana others left ended up in the southern part of present day Zimbabwe around the district of Gwanda in Matebeleland South. Gwanda was a place for Jahunda speaking people which is a dialect of Kalanga. Some Zimbabwean brandish all Basotho of Zimbabwe as Babirwa. They are two types of Basotho in Zimbabwe, the Babirwa and the other Basothos who left Transvaal around 1890s and early 1900 because they were displaced by the Boers and most of those Basothos came from Polokwane area, places like Moletse, Potgieterrus. Other Zimbabwean Sothos got Venda and Tsonga roots from Northern Transvaal present day Limpopo Province. The Sotho of Zimbabwe which is similar to the sesotho that is spoken in Messina and surrounding area is a corrupted kubu and it is similar to Selobedu. From the above it is clear that the babirwa people also lived along the confluence of the Limpopo River and the Shashi River, the area that today includes the Mapungubjwe Ruins. The Babirwa in South Africa' Reside in areas north of the Bochum area, north of Polokwane. There are more than 40 Babirwa surnames in South Africa which' include Sebone, Malema, Makhura, Makwati, Makhurane, Maphala, Nare, Tau,Choshi, Mmamadi,@ Legong (Lehong), Mangale, Taueatswala, Molefe, Mogano, Jibula (Tjibula) (Muhanu), Machete, Lehomo, Raphahlelo, Raseokgo (Sebola), Phooko, Ramalepe,' Boikanyo, Selema, Morerwa (Murerwa) Makgatho, Maruatona, Monekwe (Monengwe), Madema Morebeng (Phosa) and many' more. The word Bobirwa therefore means the land of (Babirwa) Ba-Birwa people live. Template:Infobox settlement' A large number of Babirwa left the northern South African shore and ended up living in what is today called The Bobirwa Sub District which is an administrative region in eastern Botswana, part of the Central District. Bobonong is the largest town and the headquarters of the sub-district. The sub-district is bounded by Zimbabwe to the northeast and South Africa to the southeast. The Limpopo River forms the boundary with South Africa.

Mathathane Village in Central District, Botswana

Mathathane is a village in Central District of Botswana. It is located in the eastern tip of Botswana, close to the border with South Africa. The population was 1,845 in 2001 census.

Bobonong Town in Central District, Botswana

Bobonong is a town in the Central District of Botswana 80 km from Selibe Phikwe town. Bobonong has a population of around 19,000. The Babirwa tribe can be found in this town. The Botswana Pink semi-precious stones can be found in Bobonong region. The babirwa are known for harvesting the mophane worm.


A stakeholders workshop was held in September 2009 at Molalatau Secondary School Hall, where the Minister provided information and answered questions. He warned that, although the dam would bring large benefits, there would also be problems during the construction process such as an influx of illegal immigrants, crime and sexual problems such as HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancies. [3]

The dam site was handed over to the contractor, Zhon Gan Engineering and Construction, on 30 April 2010. [5] The project was due to be completed in April 2013. The water treatment plant and pipelines could be delayed until 2014 due to funding problems. In July 2010 it was reported that work on the dam site had halted since an incident in which a worker was killed a month earlier. Bush clearing had started in the site so surveying could be undertaken, but the project was behind schedule. [4] A ground-breaking ceremony was held in September 2010, attended by Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. [6]

As of March 2011, Thune Dam was just 38% complete. Delays had been caused by floods, and there were problems with construction of accommodations and with licenses. [7]

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  1. Media tours MMEWR Project Sites.
  2. Uys 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 First Stakeholders Workshop... 2009.
  4. 1 2 Onalenna 2010.
  5. Kolantsho 2010.
  6. Tshukudu 2010.
  7. Pheage 2011.