Chobe District Councillors have passed a motion requesting the government through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to revise times of entry and exit as well as the late entry permit beyond 2100 hrs and 2300 hours respectively for resident of the Chobe Enclave passing through Chobe National Park.
The mover of the motion, Chobe Enclave West Councillor Amos Mabuku argued during a full council meeting recently that adjustment of the entry and exit times at the park will enable Chobe Enclave residents, who pass through the park, to access services in Kasane during emergency situations.
He posited that Chobe West Enclave consists of a population of more than 5000 people who mostly access services in Kasane, and when faced with emergencies late at night they are restricted by the current entry and exit times.
“I request the ministry of environment and tourism to consider adjusting the entry/exit and late permit from 1800 hrs and 1900 hours to 2100 hrs and 2300 hours respectively to allow the residents to access services freely,” he said.
Mabuku has further argued that restricting the movement of the people in the park during the late hours is not the best measure to prevent poaching, as authorities have always insisted. He stated that it does not make sense for the government to promote human-wildlife coexistence in their region while at the same time restricting the residents free movement in the park, especially as they just pass through.
Kasane Central Councillor, Chifu Munihango in supporting the motion also argued that adjusting of the times will ensure that people who pass through the park do not acquire their services under pressure of time as is currently the case. He also argued that most of the people from Chobe West Enclave acquire services from Kasane, adding that most business operations like supermarkets close at 2200 hours as such adjusting the times would allow those acquiring such services enough time.
Meanwhile, the councillors also passed another motion requesting the ministry of finance to establish a border facility between Botswana and Namibia at Satau village. The motion was also brought before the council by Chobe Enclave West Councillor Amos Mabuku.
He articulated that the establishment of the border post will result in emergence of some economic activities since there would be high movement of people coming from Ngamiland district passing through Kachikau village entering Namibia through Satau village border post.
He stated that the 70km distance from Parakarungu village to Ngoma border post which 30km of it is gravel road comes with costs for the communities travelling to Namibia, hence a boarder will ease their movement and financial burden.