The Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) has come up with the Dams Tourism initiative in a bid to diversify and grow the tourism sector in Botswana. Answering a question in parliament on behalf of the environmental minister, minister of minerals, energy and water resources Kitso Mokaila revealed that BTO has partnered with Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) and Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) to revatalise the strategy.
Mokaila explained that dams tourism offers recreation and leisure opportunities and that two dams had already been identified namely Letsibogo and Dikgatlhong. When quizzed on how the project will take off, Mokaila said it will be done in two phases.
He said the first phase is the preparation of tourism master plans for the dams, which will guide the overall management and tourism developments in the dam lease areas. The other phase is the implementation of the tourism master plans, including infrastructure development, identification of investors and disposal of tourism sites. Mokaila also told the house that consultancy services for the preparation of the two dams’ tourism master plans are at draft final stage and are expected to be completed before the end of the year.
“The consultant engaged to assist with development of the respective Dams’ Tourism Master Plans are mandated (as a specific objective of the terms of reference) to identify neighbouring communities and advise on any potential benefits of involving the such communities in the operation and management of the dam, in line with the Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM),” said Mokaila.
The minister also explained that tourism sites shall be disposed through the BTO Land Bank Process.