Gcwihaba Livens Up

| December 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

The President, Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, says the opening of tourism facilities at Gcwihaba caves in Ngamiland District is a step towards diversification of tourism products.

He said the facilities would ensure attainment of government policy on Community based Natural Resources Management. The President was official opening the facilities which included the gatehouse, ablution, boreholes, camp site and an airstrip today (December 18).

He said the NDP 10 policy position was to diversify tourism geographically and product wise. In addition, he said besides tourists, the caverns had been an attraction to researchers from all over the world.

President Khama said despite its rough terrain and remoteness, the place received an average of about 1 000 visitors per year noting that the development of the facilities would go a long way in increasing the visits, and revenue for the local community.

He also stated that government efforts of making Gchwhaba a better place had been accompanied by commitment from various players such as Stanbic bank, which paid for the development of the staff borehole while Dewet Drilling donated the borehole equipment.

He said Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) provided telephone and computer equipment to ease internet connection while the gatehouse and ablution were built through the 100 Monuments programme that was initiated in 2009 through Ipelegeng programme.

President Khama also pointed out that through the programme, they had developed tourist information boards, signage and opened trails at 74 heritage sites across the country and built gate houses at other four sites including Gcwihaba.

The President believed that the opening of the facilities would attract more tourists, increase revenue collected and increase in local community benefit through employment and related spin off economic activities that address tourist market needs in the form of camping, crafts, food provision and other sales.

Giving the background of the caves the President said “the caverns are a depository of ancient fossils that go back thousands and thousands of years such as those visible to the west of Waduum cave. The mouths of the caverns were settled by the late stone age people about 5 000 years ago where their microlith stone tools have been discovered on the northern entrance of Gcwhaba .”

He informed the gathering that Gcwihaba caves were reported by a Ghanzi farm, Mr Martinus Drotsky in 1934 and was led by local Basarwa as they used the cavern mouth as a seasonal shelter and for occasional harvesting honey.

He said Gcwihaba caverns together with the Koanaka caves were a product of a process that started over two million years ago as the action of water on soluble dolomite rocks produced solution tubes, caverns, stalagmite and stalactites.

President Khama noted that these natural resources that include Gcwihaba, Wadduum, Koanaka, Blue cave, Bone cave and several others recently discovered caverns and including the opportunity to also view wildlife in the area were all beauties of nature and a heritage resource that inspired aenture and the gaze to all.

For his part kgosi Kebonyetsala Fish of Nokaneng thanked the President for making the site visible to all adding that the place which is a blessing to the community was hidden. He praised the president for his continued efforts of putting the community first noting that he travelled across the country to appreciate their concerns and come up with solutions.

He said Gcwihaba was known as desert and place where people performed rituals and now the President has turned it into a tourism destination.

Kgosi Fish said the President had taught the community the importance of conserving natural resources to ensure that they benefitted from them. He also assured him the nation’s support in every step he takes so that he achieves his objectives.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

Leave a Reply