Measures recently announced by Government to make lives better for residents of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve will not include going back to hunting, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism has said.
In an interview Minister, Tshekedi Khama stated that residents will not be allowed to hunt.
Residents who refused to relocate from the Game Reserve have been calling on government to allow them to hunt after Government stopped supplying them with food rations.
“There is currently a hunting ban in Botswana. And no one will be allowed to hunt in the Reserve,” said Khama.
Khama stated that for now residents will be allowed to participate in activities that will promote and showcase their culture. Khama stated that they will not be allowed to showcase their culture through hunting activities.
Khama said Government is planning to set up tourism camps that residents will use to participate in the tourism sector. He said that residents will only be allowed to become active in the running of tourism business in the reserve. That will exclude hunting.
“They will be able to raise money through activities such as showcasing their culture to tourists.We have been slow on the consultation process because we didn’t want to be seen as if we are imposing things that they don’t want. So far we are happy that both parties understand each other,” added Khama.
He went further to explain that the camp sites and traditional villages will be financed from Botswana Tourism Development Fund. He said that his ministry is currently drilling boreholes inside the Reserve meant to provide water for residents and water holes for wildlife species.
He said as government they are committed to making change for the betterment of the residents.
However, a member of Ntlo ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Lobatse Beslag has praised the recent developments.
He however argues that he was not aware about the recent government move to restore services.
“We would like residents who reside outside CKGR to benefit from the latest developments.We also want residents of New Xade to take part in tourism businesses that will be set up in the Reserve,” added Beslag.