Government has approved and set aside funding towards the development of the Ntimbale Dam tourism masterplan, the North East District Council (NEDC) chairperson Flora Mpetsane has revealed. Mpetsane said this on Monday when addressing NEDC full council session in Masunga village, adding that Ntimbale Tourism Masterplan is expected to commence during this (2017/18) financial year. This is in line with Botswana’s Tourism Organization (BTO)’s mandate to diversify the tourism portfolio in the country. BTO is currently implementing the dam tourism initiative which entails preparation of tourism masterplans for major dams in the country and the implementation process. “To this end, tourism masterplans of Thune, Lestsibogo and Shashe dams have been completed,” said Mpetsane, who is also the ward councilor for Matsiloje. According to Mpetsane, the Ntimbale Tourism Masterplan project has commenced in earnest with a preliminary dam perimeter reconnaissance by the BTO, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) and Tati Land Board during the first week of November this year.“Furthermore, the leadership of the eight villages surrounding Ntimbale Dam corridor being Gulubane, Mambo, Masingwaneng, Sechele, Makaleng, Matenge, Toteng and Botalaote were briefed about the intended masterplan development,” Mpetsane told a full council session. For his part, Tati siding West ward councilor Dumani Kelepi hailed the development saying it will go a long way in increasing the number of tourists visiting the northeastern part of the country. “We had Domboshaba ruins only to talk about in the tourism sector. Ntimbale Dam will add to the district’s tourist attraction areas,” said Kelepi. He pleaded with BTO to expedite the implementation such that the district will start reaping the rewards of additional tourist attraction.