Breaking News

Mababe trust ventures into tangible projects

22 Apr 2024

For a long time, many community trusts in the Ngamiland region have been too dormant to invest in tangible projects that could sustainably and significantly improve their operations and eventually contribute to rural livelihood improvement. 

However, Mababe Zokotsama Community Development Trust (MZCDT), which thrives on wildlife hunting quotas and campsite operations, has eventually seen the need to invest in big projects that could stimulate job creation and eventually contribute to the local economy, a typical example of mindset change, as preached by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Currently, the trust has bought a commercial plot at Sedie ward in Maun, a prime area, to construct an office and a 10-roomed guesthouse.

The trust manager, Mr Vusi Khumalo confirmed in an interview that they had secured a plot to construct the said projects, for which the ground-breaking had been done to pave way for the trust office, which would be constructed to the tune of P1.2 million.

The project is expected to be completed by August.

“We have been paying P5 500 per month on rentals since we started operations in 2000 and if we have a property of our own, we will reduce costs and invest in other developmental projects for the benefit of the community,” he added. 

Mr Khumalo further noted that the envisaged guest house would help diversify their income sources. The trust, he said, had been relying much on profits from hunting quotas and leasing of some of its campsites. 

He said the lifting of the hunting ban was a relief as they made huge profits through the exercise, which also created employment opportunities for the locals. 

He also noted that through the land use management plan, the community zoned their concession into four to reduce reliance on hunting, adding that zone 3 was for photographic and construction of a five star lodge through a joint venture while zone 4 was for hunting. 

Zone 2, he said, was earmarked for two campsites, which had currently hired 49 locals while the last one as for the community.

“This move helped us to increase our revenue generation and in the next five years we will review the plan because our intention is to have more campsites,” he added.

Updating on other projects, Mr Khumalo said in an effort to empower the community, the trust board had taken a decision to lease four campsites to a youth in Mababe for five years,. The beneficiary has already paid the trust P10 000 per month. 

In addition, he said two young people had ventured into poultry projects through the support of the trust, which purchased chicks as a start-up for them while one was granted transit rights to undertake mokoro excursion in the concession for P200.

He also noted that the trust had assisted the elderly community aged above 60 years and disabled persons with P700 per month to restore their dignity, adding that members of the community were also supported financially during funerals.

The trust has also sponsored 20 young people to pursue courses at Career Dreams Institution in Maun, 10 of whom had already graduated.

“This is an indication that we are reaping the benefits of the Community Based Natural Resource Management programme, which focuses on providing incentives for communities to take responsibility for managing natural resources sustainably,” he added. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : Maun

Event : Interview

Date : 22 Apr 2024