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Hunting ban cripples livelihoods Scientist

In January 2014 government issued a ban on hunting of wild animal species arguing that the country is experiencing a decline of wild animals. However researchers are worried that the same policy is now defeating government efforts to decrease wildlife poaching and sensitize the public on wildlife conservation.

Two and half years on, the government decision to ban hunting continues to receive serious criticism. The decision is regarded as a retrogressive step that would reduce community buy-in to wildlife conservation and also increase wildlife poaching especially in the northern part of the country.
 
Relying on a report compiled by Mike Chase of Elephants without Boarders government explained that the cause of the decline of wild animal species was likely due to a combination of factors such as anthropogenic impacts, including illegal off take and habitat fragmentation or loss.
 
However researchers argue that increased centralization of control over wildlife management; and restrictions on the freedom of communities to derive benefits from wildlife via safari hunting is contrary to sustainable development ideas. They argue that hunting ban will not promote wildlife conservation and rural development as espoused by the country’s Community-based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).

According to Okavango Research Institute’s Professor Joseph Mbaiwa, the social theory is that for communities to maintain a positive relationship and attitudes towards conservation, the benefits from wildlife must exceed the costs.

Mbaiwa says programmes such as CBNRM which have proven to be collapsing tried to bring communities into conservation as the idea was, “scientific research has proven that when communities benefit from the resources around them, they will be bound to conserve them,” he explained.

“In this regard the ban on safari hunting tourism has resulted in the reduction of income, losses of jobs and community projects, as such communities might not be obliged to support wildlife conservation in their areas,” warned Mbaiwa.

Mbaiwa explains that hunting ban and other initiatives are not adequate enough to promote the livelihoods of people.

Mbaiwa says during the time when CBNRM was in its good base, the livelihoods of people in its areas improved and illegal hunting went down. However according to him the ban is reported to have resulted in increased cases of poaching in the country.

Wildlife officials in Maun have also been quoted confirming that poaching incidents in some areas of Ngamiland district has increased.

According to Mbaiwa, it is from this background that any decision making on ecological issues requires proper scientific studies to be conducted before it is implemented. He is of view that proper consultation was not made with the affected communities before implementing the hunting ban.

“Detailed socio-economic and ecological studies are needed to inform decisions making especially on the ban of safari hunting,” he said.

According to reports, Kenya also banned hunting in 1997 but research shows that between 1977 and 1996, the country experienced a 40% decline in wildlife populations, both within and outside of its national parks.

The Botswana Government has been accused for lack of scientific evidence to support claims that hunting as carried out in the country is detrimental to wildlife populations. The decision to ban hunting has rather been seen as a top-down imposed decision which violated principles of CBNRM and what it stands for.

Exempt elephants, buffaloes from hunting ban

Meanwhile, Community Trusts that have been crippled by the hunting ban and have since pleaded with government to atleast exempt elephants and buffaloes from the hunting ban. A written plea has already been submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism and awaiting response.    
 
Trusts argue the same report government used to ban hunting indicates that the two species are increasing and their increase is a threat to the agriculture sector especially in the northern part of the country.

“Elephants destroy our crops while buffaloes transmit the foot and mouth disease to cattle in Ngamiland,” reads the report.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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