The Debswana (OLDM) Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mine held yet another successful General Manager’s sponsored walk at the weekend as part of its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects.?The annual 20km sponsored walk from Letlhakane to Orapa was established by OLDM in 2002 in an endeavor to raise funds for the socio-economic benefits of people in the Boteti Sub District.?
Welcoming the participants after the walk, the General Manager of OLDM, Dr Adrian Gale said that the sponsored walk is one of the key milestones in the calendar of OLDM.?“This event is one of the many examples that clearly define true partnership between us, employees and business partners and the community of Boteti.
This is our opportunity to truly impact the lives of individuals in our community,” he said.?Dr Gale said that improving livelihoods of the people in the Boteti region is encompassed in their “Orapa today, Boteti Tomorrow” vision which was introduced in 2011. He said the aim of the vision is to leverage the mine to become the commercial hub of Boteti, bringing opportunity to all within the district.?“This vision covers numerous areas such as the setting up of a museum capturing the impact of diamonds in the area and the nation, improving our sporting clubs, bringing private radio station transmission signals to Boteti, positioning our game park as a true sanctuary for endangered species and the gateway to Makgadikgadi. This is the jewel for the district and will bring mining and conservation into complete harmony.
It will also help bring a spectacular array of wildlife and tourism coming from all over the world to visit which will help bring wealth and opportunity for the people of Boteti,” he said.?Dr Gale said other projects will include the introduction of an Information Centre, a cinema and the development of Orapa Training School into an Institute of Technology or University and the establishment of a business park outside Orapa, designed to serve both Debswana and Boteti Sub District in general. He further added that OLDM has made significant progress in certain areas such as the acquisition of white rhinos for their game park and the expansion of the game park to develop it as a sanctuary for endangered species.?
For her part, the Executive Director of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Maria Machailo-Ellis who was the guest walker and speaker hailed the GM’s sponsored walk initiative as a noble exercise.?“This not only supports the OLDM mantra of making Orapa a great place to work and live, it also positively impacts on the Boteti community and proving once again that Debswana really cares for people. I am encouraged by the number of people who graced this event today,” she said.?Machaillo-Ellis reminded participants that government and business fraternity have taken a deliberate step to eradicate poverty. As a representative of the private sector’s interests, she said that BOCCIM will not rest until all Batswana are living dignified and sustainable lives out of poverty.?“I hasten to say while government is the overall custodian of this programme, she cannot do it alone.
We need every development partner, including the business fraternity and citizens to support this initiative,” she added.?Several businesses were also present at the GM’s sponsored walk to support the initiative.?The sponsored walk was held under the theme ‘Towards Sustainable Community Development’.