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Residents may sue Govt for BCL smoke

Government may have to answer to a lawsuit for its claimed failure to protect the Phikwe environment from effects of mining operations for the last 44 years.

Resident of Sefophe, Mmadinare, Tobane amongst others have intentions of taking government to task for failing to protect them from mining emissions as well as other negative environmental impacts. The leaders of those communities at the 4th Alternative Mining Forum Phikwe this past week that BCL mine has affected their farming life, particularly cattle farming and crop production.

Kgosi Gaokgopeng Philip of Mmadinare told WeekendPost that the land which BCL built Phikwe on belonged to their forefathers as farming land and the agreement was that the company will put measures in place to control or rectify the negative environmental impacts mining operations come with.
“When this mine commenced operation government assured us they would oversee operations and regulate the company,” she said.


Philip noted that BCL has not only taken their farming land from them but also reduced its worth. She said that even though farming is now considered one of the sectors to revive Phikwe, the land is no longer as fertile as authorities would want people to believe. “BCL has contaminated the water in Motloutse, the grass and plants are poisonous to our cattle, when we took our cattle to BMC at the time we sold that side, only three would be accepted and the two would be condemned because of measles,” she noted.

Residents also advanced that government never took it upon itself to conduct research on how the mine affected their health due to the smelter emissions, citing that Selibe Phikwe records the largest cases of Tuberculosis and lung related diseases in the country. “The mine did not only affect our environment, our health as well has been affected, the Sulphur Dioxide has destroyed our respiratory systems,” observed Segwabe Segwabe, Sefhophe Deputy Chief.

Attendants further noted that BCL operations have mined the sand from Motloutse River which produced water for their livestock and today the river no longer holds tangible quantities of water due to such operations. They said that the water is also polluted and unhealthy for consumption by farm workers and settlers as well as the livestock.

Facilitator at the workshop, a Zambian lawyer, Kanwenje Nyalugwe told the attendants that it was possible for the communities to commission a law suit against BCL owners. She said that it had been done before in places like Zambia and South Africa before. She however cautioned that they can only sue against what is provided in the country's constitution.

She added that the mine owners cannot be forced to rehabilitate the environment if it was not part of the initial contract of reclamation and closure plans they submitted when applying for a mining license. “The reclamation and closure plan requires the mine operators to leave the mining parameters in a state they found them before commencing operations and that should have been outlined and made clear during licence issuing, we are informed that the BCL mining licence has those provisions but we do not know if it has been observed and followed by the company," she explained.

Nyalugwe further pointed out that Botswana has a law on environment obligations that requires that the environment must be rehabilitated thereafter, should there be any activities that deform it such as mining. Furthermore she advised the residents to document all their concerns and cite cases as they plan to embark on a legal route.

Norwegian Church Aid Programs Manager Moreblessings Chidaushe told WeekendPost that his organisation continues to fund this platform because they believe Mining and minerals extraction should benefit most importantly the surrounding inhabitants. He added that that apart from mining operations observing environmental repercussions of extraction processes, African countries need to develop a community beneficiation frame work for mining.

“We continue to export our minerals in raw form and lesser value, mining companies don’t have relationships with the community they operate in, there is no assessment of health impacts and so forth, thus at Norwegian Church we believe such legislative frameworks need to be put in place and enacted into law in our countries across southern Africa,’’ she said.

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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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