Botswana: President Masisi Tours Projects

Khawa — In light of resetting targets and redefining the development agenda, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi on Wednesday toured Khawa community projects where he called for readjustment of scope and strategic planning with a view to enhancing value chains.

The tour covered newly constructed market stalls, street lights, date palms and a slaughter slab currently under construction at Swakara Sheep Farm.

President Masisi said the developments, initiated during the 2019 Khawa Dune Challenge, would not only give the village a facelift but also transform livelihoods and chart a path towards economic prosperity.

He reiterated the need for mindset reset and redefining scope to achieve high impact results for improvement of livelihoods.

Resetting of service delivery to ensure that the people were assisted accordingly was crucial, he said.

The President said Khawa, celebrated for its unique physical features, was a potential tourism hub which had prompted government to invest in the mentioned infrastructural development.

Noting that the dune challenge was often the village's only economic highlight, government saw the need to diversify activities.

Dr Masisi said the infrastructure was a continuation of his predecessor Lt. Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama's efforts and commended the former president for a sterling job in the development of Khawa through the dune challenge.

He also praised the Kgalagadi District Council for implementing the projects and acknowledged MP for Kgalagadi South Mr Sam Brooks' contribution to the dune challenge during his tenure as council chairperson.

Kgalagadi District Council secretary Ms Baipelelang Photlokwe said when President Masisi shared his plans for Khawa in 2019, the council rose to the occasion by installing street lights, putting up market stalls and planting date palms.

The developments, she said, were meant to turn Khawa into a tourist attraction area where the community could have more activities in addition to the dune challenge.

Giving details of the projects, Ms Photlokwe explained that paving of the 3.2 km stretch of road leading to the kgotla had created employment for 136 people.

The solar streetlights, which cover 4.5 km, were completed in 2020 within time and budget while erection of market stalls, financed through constituency and Poverty Eradication Programme funds, employed 10 people.

About the market stalls, she said the area would also serve as a public square for the community.

For his part, Mr Brooks expressed gratitude to the President for fulfilling his promise to the people of Khawa.

He said government was working on developing Khawa into a tourism hub because of its pristine environment.

Currently, he said, plans were underway to create a road linking Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with Khawa KD15 Park.

In his remarks, Khawa's Kgosi Piet Manyoro noted that undertaking development projects in the village was costly due to the poor state of the access road.

That, he said, posed challenges to contractors hence the need to tar the road.

President Masisi was accompanied by the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Karabo Gare.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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