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The State of the Nation Address (SONA) that was presented by President Masisi before Parliament on Monday this week has brought some hope in Chobe District in terms of infrastructure developments.
The SONA, the last one before the Botswana General elections to be held next year has addressed some of the challenges that have been facing the district including poor roads conditions, shortage of water and electricity.
When presenting the SONA, Masisi said that the Nata-Pandamatenga road (64km) has been enlisted as one of the roads to be reconstructed and other roads includes amongst other Francistown – Nata (200km), Nata – Gweta (100km), the Maun-Sehithwa – Mohembo (149km), Mogoditshane-Gabane-Mankgodi (27km) and Palapye – Martin’s Drift road (111km). He stated that works on all of these roads will commence during the course of this financial year, and will be implemented through the Development Manager model.
He revealed that the Kasane Water Treatment plant is complete and undergoing commissioning. According to Masisi, Kasane has been listed with other areas such as Kanye, Palapye, Lerala, Shoshong, Letlhakane and Rasesa, as part of the Transitional National Development Plan. Masisi noted it is of expectation that more hospitals and clinics will be delivered as part of this plan.
According to Masisi, the North West Transmission Grid Connection phase 2 Project which is an extension of Phase 1 that was successfully completed in 2021, is expected to connect the North West region and Chobe region to the Botswana Power Corporation main transmission grid. He noted that the Phase 2 Project promises not only to provide reliable power supply, but also to catalyse economic growth and support critical regional development initiatives.
“This project represents a significant step towards ensuring sustainable and prosperous communities, especially for the Chobe region that has a huge potential in agriculture and tourism. The Project is estimated to be completed in December 2026, and will create over five hundred (500) jobs during the construction phase,” he said.
He stated that in June this year, government installed automated water quality monitoring equipment along the Chobe and Okavango rivers for continuous monitoring of water quality to enable quick and speedy response to any pollution threat. He said that Chobe is selected to be part of the six Artificial Insemination Centres with other areas Mahalapye Rural Training Centre; Impala; Setata in Boteti District; Nxaraga; Chobe and Kgalagadi South, with expectation to be on-running by September 2024.
Masisi revealed that the Pandamatenga project of construction of 12 grain storage silos is expected to be completed soon, and will bring the total silo grain storage capacity to ninety thousand (90,000) metric tonnes from thirty thousand (30,000) metric tonnes.
He noted that through the Kasane-Kazungula Re-Development Project, the government aims to complete one of its National Tourism Strategy and its 10-year Master Plan of 2023 to 2033. He stressed that these initiatives will facilitate the tourism offerings through exploitation of the rich historical culture and heritage with Kasane-Kazungula Re-Development being the most notable project, since it will transform the Chobe area into a high value tourism destination.
Masisi further stated that the Kazungula Bridge Marathon is one of the key annual events that the government wants to facilitate to stimulate domestic and inbound travel as part of diversifying our tourism offering. He said that other events include Toyota Gazoo, Desert race, Makgadikgadi Epic, Xere Annual Festival, Dithubaruba, Domboshaba Cultural Event, the Nama, Dikgafela, and Khawa Dune Challenge.