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Government injects over Pula 20 million into CKGR
Monday 22 April 2016
The government has injected over P20 million into the Basarwa projects of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The sudden windfall was prompted by an unexpected directive from President Ian Khama to restore services into the neglected settlement.The budget allocation was done following the three-ministers taskforce dispatched by Khama, led by the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, assisted by ministers Slumber Tsogwane and Tshekedi Khama, of Local government and Rural Development, and Environment, Wildlife and Tourism respectively. Tsogwane confirmed to Mmegi that his ministry has approved a budget to CKGR which will focus mainly on local government and rural development issues as per the mandate of his ministry. The ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is so critical to the lives of Basarwa who have been identified by researchers as the most vulnerable community to hunger and natural disasters. The area has six settlements - Molapo, Mothomelo, Metsiamanong, Gugama, Kikao and Gope.

The assistant minister of Health, Alfred Madigele, also told Mmegi that his Ministry has also been ropped in to avail the mobile clinic to the people of CKGR. “The clinic will be moving around different areas to provide services to the people,” he said.

The government has also decided to provide portable water through Ghanzi District Council to residents of CKGR with immediate effect. The council was ordered to consider alternatives like positioning storage tanks in settlements filled periodically or outsourcing provision of water. The council has already dispatched a water bowser to the area, a development which the area councillor, Bashi Thiite applauded as a positive move. Thiite however complained that the services are irritably slow to arrive.

“We have been waiting and waiting, while we understand that some services may take a while we have noted serious delays with provisions which fall under the local government like government programmes to the needy and the elderly,” he said.

On tourism, the government has agreed with Basarwa to mobilise them into community groups for tourism projects across three settlements. The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Gaeimelwe Goitsemang said the Ministry of Tourism is working around the clock to kickstart their projects in the CKGR. He added that the ministry will pitch tents in the near future. Goitsemang added that other activities are already taking place.

He declined to share the exact amount the government has injected into the CKGR projects. “That is not important. What is important is that the government has restored the services to the people.

Mmegi has it in good authority that the council leadership will next week go into CKGR to assess the environment and look into concerns as part of the monitoring plans set by the government.

About this site Supporting the Bushmen so they can stay in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and live there as they wish and as long as they wish. The CKGR was created for them.
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