ORAPA – Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) Chief Executive Officer, Charles Siwawa has pleaded with mines to have Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives that will make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the communities in which they do business in and thereby uplifting lives.
Speaking last week during the Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane and Damntshaa Mines (OLDM) Annual General Manager’s Charity Walk, Siwawa said BCM strongly values good corporate citizenship.
“Through this we encourage our membership or mining entities to develop, maintain and implement CSI initiatives that will make a lasting impact and meaningful contribution to the communities in which they operate,” he said.
Debswana’s OLDM General Manager’s Charity Walk was launched in 2002 and its proceeds are used to uplift the lives of the people of Boteti Sub District. Since its inception, the GM’s Walk has generated substantial amounts whose proceeds were injected into various socio-economic projects in Boteti such as the construction of eight houses for the needy in Xere, Khwee, Mokubilo, Kedia among others to the tune of P1.2 million. These projects were done in collaboration with Boteti Sub District.
In addition OLDM has an annual CSI commitment to the tune of P3.7 million which it uses to support projects in areas of health, education, environment and sports development. Siwawa showered accolades on OLDM for its charity iniatiative.He said this GM’s Charity walk is a noble cause that inspires the spirit of philanthropy synonymous with two of the country’s National Vision 2036 Pillars namely “Sustainable Economic Development” and Human and Social Development.
“The Annual GM’s Charity Walk does not only support OLDM’s mantra of making Orapa a great place to work and live but it lives up to its commitment of leaving a better Boteti for future generations. It shows that Debswana deeply cares about the people whose lives they touch, its communities and the environment so that its contribution to national development makes us all proud of how diamonds can turn dreams into lasting reality,” said Siwawa.
He applauded all the sponsors who supported the charity walk for continuing to demonstrate the spirit of “Pulling together” and “Showing you Care” which is espoused in the values of Debswana.
Touching on the theme of the event event, “50 years of Orapa Kimberlite-50 years of Diamonds for Development” the General Manager of OLDM Bakani Motlhabani said it is in line with the important contribution that diamonds have made to the development of Botswana since they were discovered in 1967, a year after independence. He said as a company they pride themselves in being a strong brand synonymous with national development.
“Former President Mogae has in the past spoken of how “For our people, every diamond purchase represents; better living conditions; safe drinking water; more roads to connect our remote communities and better healthcare” he said.
Motlhabani emphasized that it is important that as the private sector they complement and support government in providing health care services. He said in that regard Orapa Mine Hospital will continue to serve as a referral hospital for Boteti Sub District. He said they have made a commitment that the proceeds of this year’s GM Charity Walk and funds accumulated in the previous walks go towards building of a maternity wing at Letlhakane Primary Hospital.
“This is a project that was jointly identified by OLDM, the Boteti Community and our Local Authority counterparts. Implementation of this project will start very soon. The project will assist in enhancing the maternal and child care needs of the Sub District and also ease congestion in the maternity ward while also enhancing the right to life through safe maternal delivery,” he added.
He said in conclusion that the Charity walk is very important as it contributes to improved health and wellness benefits for participants.