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OTBT project at different stages

Various components of the Orapa-Today-Boteti-Tomorrow (OTBT) project are currently at different stages of development, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Advocate Sadique Kebonang, has said.

Responding to a question in Parliament from Boteti East MP, Mr Sethomo Lelatisitswe, Advocate Kebonang said OTBT strategy was conceived in an effort to diversify the economic base of the Boteti region from mining.

This, he said was also in alignment with mine closure socio-economic plans of Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) and Makgadikgadi Management Framework Plan. Under the project, he said there were four initiatives, being; development of Orapa Diamond Museum, expansion of

Orapa Game Park, establishment of a business park and relocation and development of a Training Centre.

The first two initiatives of the museum and game park, the minister said had been approved and allocated funding of P14.9 million by the Debswana board and would be completed by end of 2017.

“Studies are ongoing to develop the training centre relocation and business park concept further,” he said.

The newly acquired extension, he said was part of the existing Orapa Game Park, adding that the location was highly preferred as it linked Boteti to the wider Makgadikgadi salt pans and the heritage trails.

“The museum is located in the industrial area of Orapa. The location of training and the business park will be determined as the concept areas are developed,” he added.

During the month of October 2017, Advocate Kebonang said Ngwato Land Board completed an investigation on farmer’s boreholes ‘immediately outside the newly established Orapa Game Park expansion fence and falling within a 2-km buffer zone.  

“Preliminary indications are that there are some boreholes that fall within the buffer zone. From the assessment, proximity to the buffer zone, which is not fenced, has not negatively affected the farmer’s livelihoods since they have full access of pasture/grazing in the area outside the mine fence,” he explained.

Orapa Game Park expansion project, he said affected a total of 53 farmers, adding that there were 22 farmers with livestock and 13 farmers without livestock, as well as 18 herders, ‘there are no new affected farmers.’

Mr Lelatisitswe had asked Advocate Kebonang to appraise Parliament on the progress of OTBT project which included the expansion of Orapa Game Park, including; project budget, timeliness, scope, the exact locations and what exactly would be happening once the project was complete.

Boteti East MP also wanted to know whether it was true that there were farmers that were within 2km radius from the new Orapa Game Park fence, which was not the initial agreement with farmers.

He also wanted to know what Debswana was doing to compensate the farmers and how this was not realised during the first consultations as the farmers were there and how many farmers were displaced by the expansion of the park, including the newly affected ones. BOPA

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament

Date : Dec 07 Thu,2017

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