Francistown — The city of Francistown authorities have been implored to play a significant role in ensuring availability of fuel in the country.
When welcoming Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Wildlife, Tourism, Natural Resources and Climate Change to Francistown fuel depot, who toured the facility over the weekend, Botswana Oil board member, Mr Ogomoditse Maruapula said there should be enough storage in the city to feed many fuel points.
Mr Maruapula appreciated the tour, especially that in the past weeks Botswana experienced shortage of fuel.
He said without fuel movements, businesses would be constrained. He said the plan was to resuscitate Gantsi fuel depot to increase fuel storage across the country.
Committee chairperson, Mr Polson Majaga said they conducted a series of hearings in Gaborone after the mysterious deaths of elephants and shortage of fuel.
He said the hearings were conducted to get firsthand information from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism as well as Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security so as to be abreast with information, to better respond to questions and be able to brief Parliament later on.
He said Botswana had a lot of challenges as a landlocked country and leaders had to be prepared to deal with any challenge that might arise.
Mr Majaga noted that Tshele Hill fuel depot project was 10 years behind schedule, citing that by now, the country could be looking at expanding the Francistown fuel depot.
Botswana Oil Limited CEO, Mr Meshack Tshekedi said his company was a 100 per cent state-owned entity that was established to act as an anchor and support during times of fuel shortage. He said Bptswana Oil was contemplating extraction oil from coal.
He said they were also looking at organising coastal storage at the harbours of Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.
In response, MP for Kgalagadi North, Ms Talita Monnakgotla wanted to know why transportation of fuel was mostly, if not only, done by foreigners, while transportation of people around the country was done by Batswana.
MP for Kgalagadi South, Mr Sam Brooks wanted to know what happened to the fuel depot at Hereford that had a capacity of carrying up to 20 million litres of fuel, saying it seemed to have died a sudden death.
He also wanted to know if Batswana could be assisted to own fuel depots.
Source : BOPA