Lake Ngami Trust Needs Funds to Drive Mandate

| April 29, 2015

An official from the department of wildlife and national parks, Mr Gothusang Kochane, says proposals have been sent to Conservation Trust Fund (CTF) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Project requesting financial assistance for Lake Ngami Conversation Trust to drive its mandate.

He said Lake Ngami Conversation Trust intended to use the funds for development of tourism activities such as to construction of a lodge and some camp sites and fishing sites at the lake.

Sustainable Land Management Project is a five-year projected funded by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). Its objective was to mainstream SLM sustainable land management in rangeland areas of Ngamiland District productive landscapes for improved livelihoods.

Briefing Ngamiland District Conservation Committee about the current developments at the lake since suspension of fishing, Mr Kochane said the trust had sent proposals to other non-governmental organizations noting that if their request could be successful and all are in place, they wanted to start the developments before the end of the fishing season.

He said Botswana Tourism organisation was working around the clock with the trust to ensure the developments were implemented at the lake. Lake Ngami forms part of the Okavango Delta system due to its resources such as fish. Mr Kochane said the lake might be small but it has been listed as a birding area or spot because of the migrating birds.

He said some camps in the delta used the lake as a tourist sites because of the bird species such as the Lesser Kestrel and Black-winged Pratincole. Lake Ngami in northwestern Botswana is situated at Sehithwa village and people residents use it as a source of income.

Regarding the suspension of fishing, Mr Kochane thanked the committee for their support noting that, adding that their efforts had been realized last year on social ills occurring at the lake. He said the minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism took a decision to suspend fishing after considering issues experienced in the last season.

He said due to lucrative markets in Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo, they experienced a high demand of permits while on their other hand issues of illegal permits started to crop up.

Mr Kochane said currently intensified patrols by law enforcement and wildlife officers are on going to monitor the situation at the lake adding that kgotla meetings are also being addressed in the affected villages regarding the suspension of fishing.

He said since the suspension fishermen had been relocated to other water bodies in Ngamiland and his office had realized that they had brought pressure on the residents as they received complaints from the affected villages such as increase in illegal camps resulting in pollution and littering. He said his office is currently monitoring the situation through patrols to ensure fishing in a sustainable manner.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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