The community of Maun will soon reap the benefits of owning the Maun Educational Park as massive billions of pula investment are at an advance stage to turn the park into a science park. This week the government has announced that it has finally handed the ownership to Batawana community after years of hostilities.
In a letter from Tawana land board which stated that the Tawana land Board during their board Meeting held on 20th January 2020, considered the Saving ram from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism ,the board has resolved to inform that the Batawana Tribal Authority that Tawana Land Board is in receipt of the Saving gram that the government of Botswana has handed over Maun Educational Park to Batawana Community.
The letter further stated that therefore the board approves the transfer of Maun Educational Park from the Government to the community and the community is therefore advised to form the Community Trust or submit the name of the established Trust in order to facilitate the transfer of the park.
The Batawana paramount chief Kgosi Tawana Moremi who has been at the forefront of the issue and advocating for the return of the park to the community for many years told this publication that he is delighted by the government decision.
Kgosi Moremi further that they have been working on a plan to transform the park once it has been returned to the community. He explained that the idea was started last year in June as they met two Professors from the University of Germany and discussed at length the idea of turning the park into a science park which will be a great asset to the community.
Kgosi stressed that the decision to adopt a science model has been motivated by the challenges which poses threats to the livelihood of communities such as the outbreak of Malaria, Foot and Mouth Disease, Tsetse fly among others.
Kgosi however stated that they are still to address a kgotla meeting and inform the community about their decision. He added that they will then continue with plans after the community has given thumbs up to the idea of science park.
Keith Diako from Batawana Advisory Committee could not share more details because they are yet to receive the letter or briefed by the government about the decision. He however says that if the park returns there is need to form a Trust which will run the park. He added that previously before the government take the park it is used to be run by Fauna Conservation Society and it will depend whether they resurrect it or form another community Trust which will be run by board of trustees.
He said before they start any plans about the park there is urgent need to engage consultants to conduct an Environmental Management Plan on how the park will operate. He emphasized that the community will not have a problem to a management plan which has issues of conservations, environmental and tourism opportunities.
For his part, the Member of Parliament for Maun West, Dumelang Saleshando says the decision is a welcome development as it presents an opportunity for the community to create wealth for itself. He further stressed that there is need to ensure that a Trust with competent and credible trustees will be elected to manage the park and identify projects that can be undertaken for profitable use of the park.