Behind the story of ”Diamonds for Development “, there is no electricity, water pipes are running dry and roads are inaccessible in Thankane Village, located in the immediate vicinity of Jwaneng open pit mine.
In an effort to reduce the discrepancy caused by the glittering “gem” story, companies are coming to the fore to prop up a story soiled with inconsistency in the equitable distribution and implementation of developments, which have left villages, such as Thankane, located 80km from Jwaneng open pit mine, without electricity, roads and water.
“The government has to take heed and bring some developments when there are such initiatives aimed at uplifting the community. The government should also come forward and implement some developments for the benefit of the community,” said Solly Mmokele of Jwaneng Round Table. “Delivering to the community has its challenges. It is not enough to give blankets in winter and sweets at Christmas. The challenge is to deliver projects to the community that either benefit generations or become selfÔÇôsustaining to the community.”
His statements came shortly after Thankane Primary School pupils demanded that they should also be provided with computers after Basil Read Bothakga Burrow JV and Otraco handed over to the school an electrified staffroom and stationary in a project worth P85 000 on behalf of Jwaneng Round Table.
In their song, the pupils demanded that those officials in Gaborone should be told that Thankane School pupils also need computers after the other school received their electrified staffroom, computers and stationery.
The pupils stated that they also want to join the rest of the world in using computers in an endeavour to improve their perfomances.
Their plea prompted the area Member of Parliament, Mephato Reatile, to promise them that he would make sure that computers will be availed to them.
A teacher, who did not want to be identified, hinted that the song was meant to encourage the government to extend a helping hand.
“Children are conversant and they are positioned well to advocate for many things that the school needs for purposes of improving their education,” added Mmokele. “At last the MP is now binding himself and promising that the computers will come. Since the two companies in partnership with Jwaneng Round Table have provided the school with the electricity we are expecting that pupils will learn how to use computers once they arrive.”
The two companies, which have been subcontracted for the expansion of the mine dubbed Cut 8 Project, are taking the lead to realise that the legend “Diamond for development” comes true and benefits the local community.
Their gesture came shortly after Jwaneng Mine Chief Doctor, Dr Mwamba Nsebula, stated that the Cut 8 Project is not about expanding the mine but should touch the lives of the people.
He indicated that the project should leave a legacy after the lifespan of the mine comes to an end.
Mabutsane Sub District Chief Education Officer, Rabana, also admitted that without electricity and computers, teachers are unable to prepare for pupils. He felt that computers are important in the development of education.
The village, which is not connected to the electricity grid, was disadvantaging teachers and pupils. Thankane Village Chief, Reginald Mokgabisi, hailed the move to connect the school to electricity supply, saying that though the village was not electrified the future generations will be able to benefit from the gesture.
Mokgabisi could not hide the villagers’ concern about the shortage of water.
“Villagers go without water almost every time,” he said. “We are pleading for help.”
Basil Read Bothakga Burrow JV official, Louis Lusse, stated that his company will continue supporting the development of education. He indicated that more effort should be focused on the development of education for the benefit of the future generations.