Monday, November 17, 2014

Identifying forgoten cultural landscapes in Maun village: Community, Cultural Heritage and Development

Excerpt from seminar presented on 11th September 2014 at Okavango Research Institute (ORI) seminar room
The research presentation which was attended by about twenty (20) dikgosi was a follow up to a research that Dr Susan O. Keitumetse conducted among dikgosi to find out about Maun cultural landscapes from the past that are known to them. The dikgosi were selected because they are the custodians of the culture and the people and are the ones who may understand better on issues of cultural heritage conservation. The information collected included knowledge about various cultural landscapes and features in Maun. These were mapped using a Global Position System (GPS) and overlayed on a map of Maun to create a layer of cultural landscapes on Maun planned map.
The research found that Maun dikgotla, some of which have disappeared have cultural heritage value for both the people and the village. Collected together the dikgotla history make up the village cultural heritage that can be appealing to an international visitor. The cosmopolitan nature of the village was understood through the settlement pattern that is evident through the dikgotla placement.  For instance the grouped identities of the kgotla tell a story of the people’s heritage in the present. Main wards (Kgosing, Mabudutsa, Meno); dikgotla tsa basimane ba kgotla (Matomo, Lebodu, Mopako, Mhapha); dikgotla that were borne out of independent merafhe seeking to settle among the Tawana but being allowed to keep their own dikgotla (Boyei, Shashe, Borolong, Shagen, Bombadi, Kubung); dikgotla that were borne out of a communal need that is not necessarily traditional (Boseja, Sedie, Wenela, Riverside, Bombadi, Disana, etc). The histories that led to these dikgotla is composed of a lot of historical heritage that can be harnessed by the community as heritage product that they package to the tourists visiting the village and develop village cultural heritage trails.
One of the research findings showed that the village used to sustain itself agriculturally whereby masimo a kgosi were ploughed by all and the food deposited in the communal grain bins (matlole) which are now located at the Kgosing ward. The masimo a kgosing were located along the Thamalakane river behind the now Riley’s hotel as well as where Letsholathebe hospital is located. From these knowledges a community agricultural trail can be discerned whereby village tourism trails involving places of agricultural activities that can form tourism notes that stretch across the village towards dikgotla.
There are other landscapes that show the enterprising spirit of the pre-independence Maun whereby communities in the thick of the Okavango Delta came frequently to Maun as the inland village where battering took place. The items battered for included safety pins (dikopelo), beads, bottles, tins, wild animal biltong, lethaka, etc. A spot such as this one could be secured as a civic space by the community for future heritage development involving activities that used to take place there, with tourists paying to participate. A mokoro ride micmicking Yeyi coming out of the islands with goods to be battered is one activity. A build- up of a community restaurant and camping areas around the place is one way the community could develop the area. Also a marketplace could be in order to celebrate the identity of the cultural activities as they took place in the past.
The research findings also indicated that it is important for dikgosi to know of the Maun development plan and influence the direction of its development
The other way that the research highlighted as relevant findings is the development of a vocational curriculum that is informed by the cultural heritage knowledge provided from dikgosi. With the advent of Botswana Technical Education Programme (BTEP), it is becoming necessary to have curriculum based on indigenous skills knowledge framework. As part of capacitating this development, Dr Keitumetse, the research leader has initiated a Standard Setting Task Force for cultural heritage tourism with the former Botswana Training Authority (BOTA), which hopefully will form the basis for community initiatives along this line.
The research outcome will in future be used to advice the community via dikgosi (chiefs) on how to harness their village landscapes for community development deriving using a Community Based Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM).


Friday, October 31, 2014

Farmers urged to take ownership of human-wildlife co-existence

Rural communities in 13 villages along the Okavango Delta, Chobe–Linyanti and the Makgadikgadi wetlands have been urged to take ownership of a human-wildlife co-existence project through pro-active conflict prevention and skills development.
The calls were made by the project consultants, Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS), during a stakeholder workshop of the Northern Botswana Human Wildlife Coexistence Project (NBHWC) held in Maun.
The project’s activities includes the introduction of chili bush fences, early maturation seed varieties, kraaling and guard dogs to reduce livestock predation as well as beehive fences to prevent damage of crops and livestock killings by elephants and predators respectively.
When delivering her presentation, the Public Relations and Marketing Officer at KCS, Chanana Ntsomeng, said the objectives were to familiarise everyone with the project’s communications strategy and activities and give stakeholders a chance to give feedback on the project. She said another objective is to encourage ownership by Village Project Members.
The Senior Wildlife Biologist in Maun, Mpho Nthomiwa, said the lives of people in the region depended on arable and pastoral farming. “We have challenges of human and wildlife conflict. As growth, they end up encroaching. Reduce conflict; go to co-existence. Challenge for people and wildlife to live in harmony.” He added..
He praised the focal persons in the project for co-operation given to stakeholders, including EcoExist Botswana, who are running parallel research to address human-elephant conflict in ways that may be modeled throughout Botswana. Nthomiwa stated that his department and the two organs have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combat possible clashes with community members. Read more http://www.ngamitimes.com/2014/10/farmers-urged-take-ownership-human-wildlife-co-existence/

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pirates threaten fishing industry

Illegal fishing in Lake Ngami is a threat to species and local livelihoods and any move against it could spark conflict with Zambia and the DRC.
The Botswana ministry of environment, wildlife and tourism’s failure to crack down on illicit fishing operations in the wetlands of Ngamiland and the Chobe region may result in extinction of species, economic losses, and destruction of livelihoods in the northwest of the country.
Information gathered by the Oxpeckers Centre for Investigative Environmental Journalism suggests that the influx of Congolese and Zambian fishermen at Lake Ngami has left authorities worried about the depletion of resources and environmental challenges that arise at the fishermen’s informal settlements.
Lake Ngami falls at the southwest fork of the Okavango Delta and mostly feeds from the inflows of the delta. The Okavango, one of the largest bodies of inland water, was recently listed under the Ramsar wetlands of global importance by the United Nations.
Along the lake’s shores, fishermen can be seen drying fish and packing it in large consignments ready to be trucked into Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A few years ago there were less than 200 fishermen from other countries, but the numbers have exploded to more than 3?000.
Ngami farming communities have appealed to the ministry to suspend fishing at the lake because of a proliferation of squatter camps and the uncontrolled influx of pirate fishermen attracted to Botswana by the booming fishing opportunity on the lake.
Bareetsi Bogaisang, chairperson of the Lake Ngami Fishing Cluster, said the problem had escalated beyond control.
There was a high demand for bream and barbel in Zambia because these species had been overfished in that country, he said.
“The Zambians now come to Botswana and fish in bulk,” said Bogaisang.
“Some even put in orders for 30?000 to 45?000 fish a month – a figure that has increased from about 7?000 a couple of years ago.
“The rising demand has caught us unprepared. This explains the failure to monitor, regulate and protect the trade from this exploitation,” Bogaisang said.
Read more http://mg.co.za/article/2014-10-24-pirates-threaten-fishing-industry

Monday, October 27, 2014

ORI Seminar

You are invited to a presentation by Dr Moren Stone on Thursday, 30th October at 0930hrs in the Seminar room.
The presentation is titled “System thinking perspectives and tourism development : assessing linkages between protected areas, tourism and community livelihoods”.
This presentation will be covering Dr Stone’s area of research which is situated on system thinking approaches.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BOTSWANA GOVERNMENT GAZZETTE

TENDER INVITATIONS FOR THE NORTH WEST DISTRICT COUNCIL (NWDC)
1. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC.3.2014- Civil and Mechanical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers invited for the electrical wiring and installation works at Legotlhwane Primary School. Pg. 5882, Second Publication.

2. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC/10/2014-Civil and Mechanical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrification of Gumare, Kelekele and Tubu Primary Schools. Pg. 5883, Second Publication.

3. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC/11/2014-Civil and Mechanical Installation Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrical wiring and installation works at Etsha 6 and Etsha 13 Primary Schools. Pg. 5884, Second Publication.

4. Tender No. NDWC/ELEC/12/2014-Civil and Mechanical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrical wiring and installation works at Shakawe and Mohembo Primary Schools. Pg. 5885, Second Publication.

5. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC/13/2014-Civil and Electrical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrical wiring and installation works at Nokaneng Primary School. Pg. 5886, Second Publication.

6. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC/14/2014-Civil and Mechanical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrical wiring and installation works at Matlapana and Tawana Primary Schools. Pg. 5887, Second Publication.

7. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC/15/2014-Civil and Mechanical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrical reticulation from Government Revenue Feeder Pillar to Blue Block in Rural Administration Center. Pg. 5888, Second Publication.

8. Tender No. NWDC/ELEC/9/2014-Civil and Mechanical Engineering Services (Electrical Division)

Tender offers are invited for the electrical wiring and installation works at Botswelelo and Sekgoma Primary Schools. Pg. 5889, Second Publication.

9. Tender No. NWDC/OK/LS/01/2014 Okavango Sub-District Legal Services, Bye Law Division

Tender offers are invited for supply and installation of CCTV surveillance system to Okavango Sub-District Council. Pg. 5891, Second Publication.

10. Tender No. NWDC/MAA/SEC/01/2014 Legal Services, Bye Law Division

A service contract for the procurement of provision of security services over a period of 12 months at various facilities owned by Maun Administration Authority. Pg. 5927, First Publication.
Volume LII, No. 50 of 5th September, 2014 ISSN 2311-956X

KNOW YOUR LAWS: SUPPLEMENT A-AMENDMENTS OF BW ACTS
Botswana Defence Force (Amendment) Act, 2014-Act No. 19 of 2014……………………………………………..A.105
Presidential Elections (Supplementary Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2014-Act No. 20 of 2014…….A.107
Judicial Services Act, 2014-Act No. 21 of 2014………………………………………………………………………….A.109-113
Companies (Amendment) Act, 2014-Act No. 22 of 2014…………………………………………………………….A115-117
Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (Transition) (Amendment) Act, 2014-Act No.23 of 2014………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………A119
Counter-Terrorism Act, 2014-Act No. 21 of 2014………………………………………………………………………A.121-142
Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act, 2014-Act No. 25 of 2014………………………………………………..A.143-160
Securities Act, 2014-Act No. 26 of 2014…………………………………………………………………………………….A.161-195
Retirement Funds Act, 2014-Act No.27 of 2014…………………………………………………………………………A.197-227
Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act, 2014-Act No.28 of 2014……………………………………………..A.229-271
Botswana Geoscience Institute Act, 2014-Act No. 29 of 2014……………………………………………………A.273-290
Botswana National Sport Commission Act, 2014-Act No. 30 of 2014…………………………………………A.291-308
Forensic Procedures Act, 2014-Act No. 31 of 2014…………………………………………………………………….A.309-328
Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2014-Act No. 32 of 2014……………………………………………………………….A.329-343

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ORI educate farmers on optimal ranch management



The Okavango Research Institute (ORI) hosted a farmers’ workshop on the 4th of September 2014 which was facilitated by Dr Richard Fynn Range Ecologist. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the concept of optimal ranch management and how to implement these strategies.
A key area for research in the Ngamiland region is livestock and rangeland management to serve the important livestock industry of Botswana. Research lead by Dr Fynn both locally and in collaboration with international range ecologists has led to important advancements on optimal strategies for rangeland management that improve livestock production and profitability that includes range improvement.
Dr Fynn presented to farmers improved and profitable ways they could use to run their ranches. He explained how they can increase grass productivity on their ranches, and added that good grazing management practices can increase productivity. He emphasized that grass needs a year to rest after grazing in order to recover optimal nutrients and length. Farmers were encouraged to divide their ranches into two sections, where animals could graze during the dry and wet seasons. They were told that the one section of the ranch should be   left to rest and used as a reserve for the dry season. Dr Fynn explained that this ranch management strategy ensures that animals have food all year round even during the drought season.
He also pointed out that this concept is ideal for rural farmers or farmers with new ranches who cannot afford financial outlays of fencing.  He stated out that this ranching system has been put in place in South Africa and that great results are being experienced with large increases in profitability and improvement of rangeland condition and productivity.
Dr Fynn emphasized that he believes that this rangeland management strategy is the way forward for cattle ranching in Africa, especially where there is a need for the development of low cost and practical ways to implement ranching. It also provides good flexibility for adaptation to more variable and less reliable rainfall under climate change.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Appointment of Prof Masamba as ORI Director!!!

Prof WRL Masamba has been appointed as ORI Director with immediate effect. Lets take this opportunity to congratulate Prof Masamba on his appointment.