President Ian Khama has declared this coming Sunday (5th March) a day of national thanks giving for the huge amounts of rainfall the country has recently experienced.
Most of the country previously experienced crippling drought in recent years before experiencing record amounts of rain during the early part of this year. “My fellow Batswana, there is nothing more precious to us than the blessing of good rains. In this respect, we have been truly humbled these past few weeks by the rains that have occurred throughout our country,” Khama said through a statement this week.
“Today almost all our dams are full, including the Gaborone Dam for the first time in sixteen years.”
Khama explains that as much as these rains were an answer to fervent prayers that saw some churches hosting mass prayers recently, the president said it is only befitting that Batswana should now give thanks to the Lord who makes all things possible. “In this regard, I am declaring that this coming Sunday, the 5th of March 2017, should be a day of national thanksgiving,” Khama said.
“I, together with my Cabinet and other citizens will be taking part in a small prayer gathering at Gaborone Dam this coming Sunday. It is my hope that our churches and other religious and civil institutions will also take this cue and give special thanks on the day.”
The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) this week revealed that some of the hardest hit areas during recent flash floods include Mochudi, Lobatse, and Ramotswa and Otse village.
Most of these areas are located along the Notwane River, which saw its banks breached, by huge amounts of water following recent flash floods. This week NDMO revealed that Moshawana and Bophirima wards with in Mochudi saw 22 households being severely affected by flash floods.
“Households affected have been assisted with various relief items including food baskets, tents and five households have been relocated to a temporary shelter at Phaphani Primary School. Most of those affected by the floods resided along the Notwane river bank,” reads a statement from NDMO.
“The District Disaster Management Committee providing assistance and response in the area has appealed to residents who live along the river bank to cooperate with their teams when residents are asked to move to high ground. This is due to instances whereby residents have declined the evacuation only to later request for assistance,” the statement reads.
Moreover, NDMO revealed that floods also affected villages of Kgomodiatshaba and Dikgonnye and the Disaster Committee is responding to that situation as well. The villages Molepolole/ Lentsweletau in the Kweneng District saw 18 householdsbeing affected by floods due to the heavy rains while another area affected is Letlhakeng Sub District with 20 households.
“In Ramotswa the water level in the river has receded and the situation has normalized in the village, this includes the Taung area where the road is also open for use.” Meanwhile the situation in Lobatse is said to have stabilized and the Disaster Management Committee is monitoring the situation.” The Committee further advises members of the public not to attempt to cross the Nywaane Bridge even by foot as the condition of the damaged bridge is unstable and very dangerous.
This follows after some parents from Otse village wanted to have their school going children cross the bridge on the way to school in Lobatse.” NDMO further urged members of the public must contact the District Commissioner’s office, Police, Kgosi or any leadership in their respective areas if they experience flooding.
The minister of Transport and Communication Kitso Mokaila has appointed Stephen Makuke as the acting Chief Executive Officer at Botswana Railways (BR).
This follows the departure of BR CEO Dominic Ntwaagae. According to a BR press release this week, Makuke who is serving as the director of business development at BR is expected to hold the fort until a substantive CEO is appointed. However, recent reports are that Ntwaagae who was allegedly under pressure, left BR with a whole month left in his contract, which is expected to expire by the end of March.
In addition, the Mokaila has appointed a new Board of Directors for Botswana Railways. The BR board was appointed last week following Cabinet approval.