Efforts to diversify the economy of Orapa, a dream envisaged by former Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) General Manager – the late Adrian Gale – is now taking shape. Dr Gale came up with the vision to ensure that the Boteti area continues to survive after the depletion of diamond at the world’s richest diamond mine. Answering a question in Parliament, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang said the first two initiatives of ‘Orapa Today Boteti Tomorrow’ have been approved and allocated funding of P14.9 million by the Debswana board. The initiatives, according to Kebonang are the construction of the diamond Museum which is located are industrial area of Orapa and a Game Park. They are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The mining museum is meant to augment tourism projects with the intention of using the rich history of the mines to generate revenue for the community. The expansion of the game park is also part of Makgadikgadi Management Framework and the location was highly preferred as it links Boteti to the wider Makgadikgadi salt pans and the heritage trails.
Other developments which are earmarked at diversifying the economy of Boteti area is the relocation and development of a training centre. The aim is to turn the training centre into an open technical college to admit members of the community as well. Currently the centre caters only for the mine’s employees and those from other mines. In order to help the communities around the diamond mine, OLDM will establish a business park that will help the Boteti community develop businesses that are related to mining projects. Dr Gale had hailed the Orapa today Boteti Tomorrow vision as a means to improve the lives of the residents of Orapa and Boteti sub district as a whole. “This vision seeks to add value to the lives of the people of Orapa and Boteti sub district as a whole. “Today” is about making Orapa a great place to live and work, with the best schools, zero harm and zero crime. “Tomorrow” is to position Orapa as the Hub Capital of Boteti, the gateway to Makgadikgadi, the first great diamond mine in Botswana, a museum to capture the anecdotes and artefacts of this critical period in the history of Botswana,” said Dr Gale.