Gem Diamonds, the developers of the Ghaghoo diamond mine in Central Kalahari Game Reserve, said it is in the process of registering a foundation that is aimed at developing communities around the project in a bid to improve lives.
The Managing Director of Gem Diamonds Botswana, Haile Mphusu, told Sunday Standard the expectation is that the foundation will ensure that the developments they carry out are done in a coordinated manner for the benefit of the residents.
He added that the foundation will work side by side with the residents of the areas and that the residents will also have a say on how they want to be assisted.
Gem Diamonds has so far only drilled and installed a borehole at Mothomelo, which is operating well and also drilled boreholes at Metsimanong and Molapo, but both boreholes have salty water. To address the problem, the company has bought purifications for the Molapo borehole water which was not as salty as the Metsimanong water.
He said that after buying purification, it was then realised that there was something wrong with the borehole but that they have since recalled the company which drilled to go and fix it and hoped it would be providing the residents with water soon.
On the localisation programme, Mphusu said that currently 85 percent of their work force are locals most of whom have experience of working in mines in and out of the country. He said that they have set up a special programme that will help the residents of CKGR to get work experience. Currently, he said that only a few of the residents are working in the mine doing the few jobs that do not require skills.
“We would have wished we could employ more of them but cannot because they lack the necessary skills,” he stressed.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve activist, Jumanda Gakelebone, early this year claimed that the mining company had not brought any tangible results to their area.