Barclays Bank Botswana has donated over P275, 000 through the Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS), for assisting victims of the recent floods in the Okavango region where more than 500 people have been displaced.
The gesture was viewed in the context of the Bank’s culture of giving back to the communities.
Against this background, Barclays’ Managing Director, Thuli Johnson, stated that his bank is committed to assisting communities in which the Bank has operations, thus ensuring their long term sustainability and growth.
“Barclays has a long tradition of working with communities and we continue to demonstrate this through our community investment programme,” said Johnson as he delivered the cheque and added that after visiting the affected areas and having witnessed first hand the extent of the damage caused, Barclays felt obligated to respond with an immediate donation to assist those displaced by the floods.
This follows a trip to the area by Johnson and the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Aupa Monyatsi.
On their return, they impressed upon Barclays’ Executive Management that “it was imperative that the Bank responded with an immediate donation,” given the long and short term effects of disaster as shown by the assessment conducted there at.
Dr. Nomsa Mbere, Chairperson of the BRCS, who received the money on behalf of her Organization at the Barclays Bank Botswana Head Office Boardroom in Gaborone, expressed gratitude for the Banks goodwill gesture, and commitment to improving the quality of life of Batswana as well as providing the much needed support to the communities at the most critical times of their need.
“”Moreover, this is a new phenomenon to the country, as we have never experienced a disaster of this magnitude, which has forced people in the area to abandon their homes and live in a communal setting,” stated Mbere, who further pointed out that the situation presented a serious challenge in terms of people having to adjust to a new environment, which often takes a long time.
To this end, she intimated that whilst part of the funds contributed by Barclays will be directed to immediate relief and meeting basic needs of the victims of the floods, the rest would go a long way towards mitigating the psycho-social implications of the disaster on those affected.
In recognition of the magnitude of the challenges presented by the floods, Barclays, in collaboration with BRCS, has appealed to its employees, customers and members of the public to come to the rescue of the victims and give donations in kind or in cash.
“To facilitate this, we have opened a relief Fund and cash donations may be deposited into account number 78/9032327, and such deposits may be made at any of our branches countrywide,” said Esther Norris, Barclays’ Head of Corporate Affairs.
In addition, it was stated that the Bank will use all its 52 branches across the country to ask for other forms of support for the victims, such as clothing, food hampers, and other basic necessities that can be availed to their relief.