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- The OCT project set for completion in October
Driving towards sustainable ecotourism in the eastern panhandle of the Okavango delta, the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) has recently handed the site for the construction of its new hotel in Seronga named ‘Selective Hotel’ which is anticipated to be completed in October this year.
Construction started on February 2, and the eleven roomed facility will feature a restaurant, a conference facility, a kitchen, an office and a swimming pool.
Headquartered in Seronga village, OCT was formally established and registered in 1996 and serves the five villages of Seronga, Gunotsoga, Eretsha, Beetsha and Gudigwa.
In an interview, the Trust’s Manager Botshelo Sesinyi revealed that the construction of the hotel is fully funded through OCT revenue which is generated through their general dealer, mortuary and a hardware store.
He stated that the idea behind building the hotel is to provide accommodation, hospitality services that meet international standards in the area. Furthermore, he noted that the facility will also provide the community with employment opportunities, adding that their community will get first priority.
However, he indicated that they will only make an exemption when they are not able to find suitable candidates for certain positions within the community.
The Trust has also handed over a site to the contractors of a herbarium for indigenous herbs and research at Eretsha village. According to Sesinyi, they have secured P547 569.00 funding through the ‘Small Grants Programme’ to facilitate the project.
In a previous interview Sesinyi said they will need a number of employees such as lab assistant keepers to do the project adding that there will also be a need to document information collected from different villages and more beneficiary member villagers will be trained in assisting to provide the service.
“The lab will be running its own live virtual classes which will require videographers and editors and priority will be given to qualified youth who are from the eastern panhandle villages, revealed Sesinyi.
He further said as women in the eastern panhandle are known to be knowledgeable in providing health assistance in form of herb medicines, their traditional reliance on using indigenous herbs coupled with their experience will provide them with a source of financial opportunity as all of these known herbs will be documented and their expertise rewarded.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Eretsha Cultural Village which was funded by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism through the National Conservation Trust fund to a total tune of P899 800.00 is currently awaiting the disbursement of the funds before its commencement.
The cultural village will comprise of eight thatched tswana traditional huts, a fully furnished restaurant, dance arena, curio shop, art gallery, an information gallery and a managerial office.
The aim of the cultural village is to offer tourists Ngamiland’s cultural practices, diversify Botswana’s tourism as well as sensitize and market traditions and culture of the area through ecotourism.