The community of Boro this week celebrated the arrival of flood water to their shores, on the Boro River which has for many years supported their livelihoods.
The drying up of the Boro River, which flows downstream and feeds into the Thamalakane River, always spell doom for residents, the Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust (OKMCT), Polers, Farmers, Fisherman, and Tour Operators that rely on the river as a source of income.
OKMCT Trust Manager Seikaneng Moepedi has explained that the Boro River is a source of income for the communities under NG32 and many other stakeholders. Over a year now, Boro station had dried up, affecting communities from Ditshiping, Daunara, Boro, Xaxaba, Xharaxao and Xuoxao Villages.
He explained that Boro station is one of the richest stations which over the years have contributed a lot of revenue for OKMCT and individuals like polers, fisherman and tour operators. Moepedi revealed that though they have revenue contributions from other four stations in Xharaxao, Ditshiping, Daunara and Morutsa stations, Boro station alone contributes 50% of revenue into OKMCT every year.
“In 2018 we collected more than P3 million of revenue while in 2019 the revenue dropped to P2million because there was no enough water at the Boro station which made it hard for us to transport tourists,” Moepedi highlighted.
He however indicated that in 2020 they collected only P300 000 in revenues due to Covid 19, adding that the following year (2021) the collections increased to P500 000. Moepedi is hopeful that this year they will able to make more money as travel restriction have since been relaxed.
He revealed that OKMCT plans to introduce a mokoro Competition, that will help boost their revenues in the future.
For his part, Senior Poler Galebose Sekonga appreciated the arrival of the flood as it will boost their economy following the difficulties they faced in 2021 when the river dried up. Sekonga highlighted that he makes more than P700 per day through his mokoro business. The poler is optimistic that he will this year have more business than last year. He indicated that they charge P350 per person a day trip especially foreign tourists and if the tourist requests a night out in the delta, they double the fee.
Meanwhile, Machaba Safari official, Tuelo Montshonyane has also appreciated and welcomed the arrival of the water reiterating that it will boost the economy of the villagers through poling and campsite revenue.
He indicated that when there is no water at Boro, this causes conflicts between the five settlements in the NG32 as Boro people will be forced to relocate to other stations in Daunara and Ditshiping where the water does not dry up.
He further encouraged the community to also engage in farming and fishing using the river to improve their livelihoods.