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Save Wildlife Conservation Fund Botswana has officially launched a 1 hector electrically fenced ploughing field to Wakazi Horticultural Group in Quoxao settlement located within NG32 as part of its continued efforts to mitigate human wildlife conflict and empower communities living in the Okavango Delta.
The organisation constructed the fence worth P87 000 to protect the group’s produce against the elephants as the settlement is located within an elephant corridor. It also built a store room and toilets, water well point and installed two 1000 litre Jojo tanks, donated fertilisers and also procured seeds for the group.
In efforts to create market for the farmers to sell their produce, the organisation has partnered with Spar Botswana to purchase its vegetables and the group has since supplied the supermarket with some of their produce during its first harvest this year.
Speaking during the launch of the field in Quoxao this week, the organisation’s Country Project Director, Wabotlhe Letubo explained that the main objective of the donation was to empower women in the area. She noted that this came after the Quoxao Kgosi made a request for the group to be assisted.
She stated that the project is of economic benefit, adding that the electric fence will also be beneficial in promoting human –wildlife co-existence.
The group’s chairperson Bolatotswe Otae who expressed her gratitude for Save Wildlife’s gesture noted that they will be able to be self-reliant and create jobs for community members instead of relying on government and their community trust handouts.
She further appreciated Spar Botswana for being part of the project through purchasing their produce. Otae assured that they will be committed to producing quality products to ensure that they keep their relationship with spar Botswana.
For his part area councilor Luke Motlaleselelo who was among the team behind the implementation of the project, also appreciated Save Wildlife Conservation Fund Botswana for its generous support to local communities in hard to reach areas.
He further pleaded for support from various stakeholders including lodges located in the area to purchase vegetables from the group. He further pleaded with Tawana Land Board to facilitate the group to acquire land rights in order for them to have access to various government service and financial aid from different financial institutions since they require one to have land rights.
“The most important stakeholders are us the community, let us support Wakazi group so that they may be able to grow and create employment within the Quoxao community,” Motlaleselelo pleaded.
The councilor further acknowledged Save Wildlife the play group project by the organisation which he appreciated contributes to quality education for all. He indicated that the organisation also has the lion protection project which bridges the gap for co-existence through monitoring them.