The Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) has blocked a multi-million construction project in Gaborone CBD area by Smart Partnership Enterprises because the company did not carry out an Environment Impact study.
This was revealed by one of the directors of the company, Gaborone attorney Terence Dambe. According to him they were given the go ahead by the Department of Town and Regional Planning and proceeded with earth works on the plot but later on the MEWT told them that they should stop further developments on the project till they have conducted EIA .
“We have been told we cannot proceed with the project till we have conducted EIA on the area and a report was approved by them,” he said.
Asked if they did not know it was necessary that they have carried out such a study, Dambe said that they had thought that since it was an urban planning all what they need to do was to clear the area of all the trees and start envisaged construction of buildings.
“We had thought that we do not need it but it appears we were wrong and we have since made it and handed it to them and are awaiting their recommendations,” he said.
Asked to say who the other directors of the company are, Dambe said that they are amongst others Seleka Mokama, Catherine Kgomanyane , Samuel Mphuchane and Kabelo Ebineng.
Sources in the Ministry say that the project is not likely to be approved soon because the company has amongst other things gone against rules and cut down indigenous trees like masu which the Ministry had clearly marked should not be cut down.
“The feeling in the Ministry is that they have knowingly cut down trees they were not supposed to cut down and my feelings are that they will pay a heavy price for that,” said the source.
According to the source the company has proposed that they will import some exotic trees to put in place of the trees they have cut down but that he is not sure that the Ministry will agree to the plan.
MEWT Public Relations officer Caroline Bogale Jaeyeoba declined to comment saying, “Talk to the developers of the plot they are better placed to say what has happened .”