North West District Councillors have passed a motion to summon the Minister of Environment and Tourism Philda Kereng to address them about the deplorable roads within the National Parks and Game Reserves in the district.
When presenting the motion, Boro/Senonnori councillor Kenson Kgaga who is also chairperson for Botswana Guide Association (BOGA) complained that since he joined council in 2014 he has been receiving empty promises from the ministry that the roads will be maintained.
Kgaga highlighted that this year in February he had two meetings with minister Kereng on behalf of BOGA about the situation of the road and he was given hope that the road will be attended to but to date he is still waiting on that promise.
“From 1999 to date I have been lobbying for maintenance of the roads but nothing has happened. I am not saying the roads should be tarred but they just need to be grated. Cars get stuck on the way and in some instances it takes around 7 hours for it to be removed,” Kgaga stressed.
Kgaga said the roads which have not been attended to since 1999 becomes more difficult to traverse during the rainy season, a situation which he said does not only frustrate clients but also negatively affects safari operators financially as they often have to attend to breakdowns.
He lamented that in most incidents tourists are forced to spend a night in the bush instead of a five-star hospitality they booked for due to breakdowns caused by the roads. He condemned that this negatively affect businesses as they are forced to make refunds adding that it also negatively affects the latters’ reputation.
He indicated that most safari cars traveling in the National Park and Game Reserve have a short life span with some ending knocking engines because of the bad state of the roads.
Bojanala councillor Luke Motlaleselelo who supported the motion expressed his disappointment that though there is a Regional Wildlife Officer and a Park Manager in the district a minister is called to provide answers yet the officers are given the responsibility to do so.
Also in support was Sankoyo/Shorobe councillor Oabilwe Chombo who concurred that there should be an explanation to why the ministry has been silent about the deteriorating roads.