Over the weekend I landed on an airstrip in transit from Kasane to Maun. This is in an area that attracts some wealthy tourists to our state of the art resorts in the delta, making tourism the second most important revenue source for Botswana. Local inhabitants survive with no amenities; government has categorised them as “Ungazetted Settlements” and declared that they don’t deserve portable water, health services or educational facilities of any sort. The tourists get a full view of the state of such communities as they are guided to their resorts. The busiest road in Toteng village leads to a mine with abundant copper deposits exported to foreign countries to earn revenues for Botswana. It used to be a tarred road but was never maintained until it completely wore out and degenerated into a dusty gravel road. Soon there will be cases of poor health as a result of pollution. It seems that there is a curse that comes with being located in close proximity to natural resources. Boteti, the home to our diamonds suffers the same fate.
'Paradox of Plenty' (POTSHOT)
Friday, June 24, 2022