Botswana: Contribution to Development Critical

Maun — Ms Daisy Sefara-Hancock of Disana ward in Maun is one person who believes that one can create a legacy with every single action that he/she takes.

At the age of 63, she is still going strong and striving to create a legacy that would benefit the Maun community, the country at large and the generation to come.

When she relocated to Maun 20 years back, the South African born woman contributed towards the beauty and development of the tourism destination of choice, Maun village.

Ms Sefara-Hancock strategically planted big trees at old and new shopping complexes, schools, churches, some government departments and non-governmental organisations as she believes that trees contribute to making the town socio-economically and environmentally friendly as well as more sustainable.

She also believes that Maun deserves to be a green village.

In an interview, Ms Sefara-Hancock revealed that every sound-minded person would want to leave a legacy and planting of trees around Maun was a dream come true for her.

She acknowledged support from local authorities and some government departments such as Roads as well as Forestry and Range Resources, saying they walked the journey with her.

Ms Sefara-Hancock recalled that the department of Forestry once gave her a wheelbarrow as an appreciation while the council awarded her a certificate to recognise her contribution.

"This has motivated me to do more and my aim is to roll out my dream and plant tress across the country in public places if resources permit," she added.

So far Ms Sefara-Hancock has donated over 6 000 trees around Maun and she aims to extend the service to other parts of the country, especially along high ways.

She did not just plant the trees, but she watered them daily.

Ms Sefara-Hancock noted that currently she was proud as the trees had grown and improved the image of the malls as well as benefited small entrepreneurs as many had put their tables under their shade to make ends meet.

The love for trees, she said, developed during her youthful age as she grew up in a family that was passionate about farming.

"I started small by planting trees in chibuku boxes and some individuals showed interest," she said.

Now she has found a niche in selling of trees and the love for trees has motivated her to become an environmental enthusiast.

The vibrant woman used to embark on fund-raising activities such as cycling from Maun to Gaborone, Shakawe and Kasane on a mission to sensitise the public about environmental issues and to encourage villagers to plant trees and appreciate their importance.

Trees, she said, had a lot of benefits such as providing shade, noting that they could make one feel fresh and soothes the soul.

Planting trees today, she said, was therefore essential for future generations, adding that trees also acted as wind breakers and reduced natural disasters.

She has also ventured into horticulture, where she plants herbs and different vegetables, with which she supplies some local shops and individuals.

Ms Sefara-Hancock wishes other women who are interested in tree-planting could come for benchmarking at her place, adding that she was willing to see fellow women utilising their talents to eradicate poverty.

Source : BOPA

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