Btv house gets bugs in its system
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
A colony of marauding ants has sent people panicking at the Botswana Television (Btv)’s mass media complex, forcing the government to issue a tender for their extermination. The tender, which is perceived to be in the region of millions of dollars, has been reissued five months after the first was floated.
Mass Media Complex houses Btv, government radio stations and the Daily News. According to the Government Gazette, collection of documents for this job was opened on August 13. The closing date for the tender (SPMTC098/2012-2013) is September 10.
Five months ago, the Office of the President, under whose jurisdiction Btv falls, issued tender SP/MTC 306/2011-2012 for treatment and eradication of termites and ants at the Mass Media Complex. The board decisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) for April, May, June, July and August as seen in the procurement authority's website, does not reveal the awarding of this tender.
As if the ants were not a scourge enough, cracks in the ceilings, corridor slabs and cable duct panes on the floor were also fingered by a recent audit of the Btv complex by the auditor general. According to the report, leakages from the roof caused damage to the floors and equipment, with paint peeling off the walls. Because of the numerous leaks from the roof and air-conditioning system, a number of ceiling panels have either broken or fallen off.
Interestingly as it is surprising, the whole building is infested with termites that have caused damage to furniture and floor skirting, notably in the library room. “Auditors were baffled as to how this could have happened, given that officers work there on a daily basis.”
The auditors however say they have not been able to appreciate the implication of threats from these creepy-crawlies to the continued structural integrity of the buildings from the permanent underground water seepage.
The same report said these defects and weaknesses have been evident for some time, but have only been dealt with through routine maintenance work, such as filling up of cracks created by shifting columns.