The Botswana Housing Corporation has eventually put the roof above heads of Serowe residents, erecting scores of state of art houses, which were finally unveiled by the national housing outfit to the excitement of Gammangwato inhabitants recently.
Mandated, among other provisions, to provide housing services to the populace across the country, BHC is faced with the daunting task to meet its target by the year 2016- the country’s renowned vision period- sheltering the entire Botswana with 29 000 housing units expected to be complete by then.
Although the parastatal is walking on difficult terrain, emanating from the land boards reluctance to cede land, BHC is confident it will reach its assignment by the year 2016 with Ngwato land board having set the noble trend, subsequently affording a chunk of land to the corporation.
“Nobody here would believe we started negotiations with the Ngwato land board in the 90s only to be afforded a sustainable land in 2008, which includes this six hectare chunk of land and another twenty hectare in Ramakolo Ward which is still under construction,” revealed the corporate chief executive officer, Reginald Motswaiso, insisting on the land board to give more land and for other land boards across the country to do the same.
“We are tasked with the daunting task to erect 29 000 housing units by the year 2016 and this would not come cheaply if land boards do not accede to the land. We therefore plead with you to give us land to live to our mandate,” he appealed.
Under the impressive construction of a Chinese contractor, the Mannathoko housing units, which will officially be named Metsimasweu estate, boasts of 107 housing facilities with the majority of the houses built to accommodate the middle and low income earners.
While some cynics would vent out these housing units were built by virtue of the House speaker comes from Serowe, the Minister of Lands and Housing Nonofo Molefhi rhetorically dismissed such suggestions, arguing developments were accorded in preference to critical situations.
“This development would eventually spill to other neighbouring villages including Tsienyane,” Serowe-born Molefhi maintained, answering remarks from other speakers before him who rhetorically pleaded with the government to answer their calls for decent accommodation in their respective villages.
By sheltering the entire nation, including BagaMmabesi as Serowe is commonly referred to by the residents, the Selebi-Phikwe east MP is adamant BHC is walking in tandem with the government mission to attain some of the pillars enshrined in the country’s vision.
“Besides, this noble exercise is in line with the D for Dignity as imposed by our president.
Nothing pleases a Motswana more than a shelter and it is against this backdrop that together we are adamant we are in the direct direction,” Molefhi insisted, adding however their ambition could be thwarted by the recent global crunch, which diversely affected almost the whole world.
“That notwithstanding will do our rigorous plans bit by bit to ensure all of us as a nation benefit from the nation’s cake,” he promised.
While the nation should be proud of these developments, Molefhi is skeptical of the shoddy buildings employed by the contractors, warning them to desist from this mounting behavior.
He would also acknowledge the impediment caused by the country’s laws, which tend to conflict with one another, citing the Environment and Local government Acts which needs to be reviewed for the smooth sailing of government projects.
For his part, Kgosi Mokhutshwane Sekgoma welcoming the guests, applauded BHC for the work well done, warning the residents to refrain from complaining the developments are “not enough”ÔÇô the trend the Bangwato senior tribal authority has seen crippling amongst his tribe.
An event was full of a series of activities, the unveiling of Metsimasweu estate was laced with melodies from Mahalapye prison’s band and a reinvigorating poem from Pako Bakane.