President’s Visits Explore Caves Potential

| December 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT), Mr Tshekedi Khama has dismissed allegations that President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s visit to the Gcwihaba caverns was meant for leisure and to pursue the latter’s interests.

He informed residents of Xaixai during the official opening of the tourism facilities at Gcwihaba caverns that the President had no intention of owning the caves as some Members of Parliament alleged.

He said people who believed that President Khama wanted to own the caves lacked knowledge as the caves were identified by him and realised that the place could offer a lot to tourism sector.

The minister revealed that his several visits to the site was to exploit the potential of the natural resources within the concession area that was given to the Xaixai Tlhabologo Trust so that the community could gain meaningfully from tourism.

He explained that President Khama’s visit to Gcwihaba was only meant to see if he could explore more caves, develop tourism alongside the caves and make it a better place. Minister Khama also said since the caves had remained almost docile for a time, the President’s mission was to fully exploit them as a tourism site.

He thanked the President for taking his time to fully assist in getting the Gcwihaba caverns tourism project off the ground as quickly as possible because it could assist in diversifying the tourism sector.

“President Khama visited the site even during difficult times because he realised that the cave has a lot of potential to be turned into a tourism destination and that the country could derive immense benefits from them,” he added.

He urged the trust members to look after the facilities and ensure they transformed the livelihoods of the community through job creation and developments. He assured the trust his ministry’s support.

Meanwhile, the government, through the support of other stakeholders made the site to operate a lucrative tourism business as it was well known for its history.

For his part, the trust manager, Mr Eric Keharara said the community had welcomed the developments, noting that initially the trust was doing consumptive tourism, but stopped after government banned hunting.

He said since they had now shifted to non-consumptive tourism, the new facilities would boost their revenue. He thanked the Office of the President for its continued support towards the development of tourism in their village.

“The Office of the President has taken care of the community welfare and we are thankful for the support,” he added. He said they intend to revive the Sesarwa culture as it has the potential to market the site.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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