Connect with us

Rhino poaching on the rise


In June this year, the government of Botswana took a deliberate decision to dehorn its wild rhinoceros population in order to save the nearly extinct animals from poachers. At the time, Department of Wildlife and National Parks had reported that at least 56 rhinos were killed in the last two years for their horns, which according to studies, a rhino horn can rake in high profits on the Asian black markets.

In a media statement released by Rhino Conservation Botswana in March 2020, it is reported that despite significant anti- poaching efforts, the rhino poaching onslaught continues unabated in Botswana with 47 rhinos lost to poachers over the last 12 months. This has devastated Botswana’s rhino population and set back the work of Rhino Conservation Botswana significantly.

“For the past two decades we have worked with the Government of Botswana and private sector partners to bring rhinos from high poaching areas in South Africa and Zimbabwe into Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

Here we have been closely monitoring the rhinos, enabling their populations to grow at one of the highest rates ever achieved, adding to the global population of these highly endangered animals”.
In June 2020 the government of Botswana took a decision to re-arm its wildlife rangers as they faced battles in increased cases of poaching. In the last six months, at least 17 poachers have been killed in gunfire exchanges with the army. According to media reports, government had disarmed wildlife rangers in 2018, saying that under the law, only the military was allowed the use of firearms during anti- poaching patrols.

With the country having currently lost 58 rhinoceros to poachers in the last two years, the government is considering backtracking on the decision it took. At the material time Wildlife and Tourism Minister, Philda Kereng recently told parliament the government is amending the law that prevented the rangers from carrying weapons.

National Geographic reports that the rhinos’ destination in Botswana remains confidential. “All I can say is we are taking the necessary measures to protect our rhinos,” says Cyril Taolo, acting Director of Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Taolo declined to provide specific information about the evacuation. “I’m not in a position to talk about any details regarding ongoing operations.”

Dereck Joubert, who leads the Botswana non-profit Rhinos Without Borders with his wife, Beverly Joubert, emphasized that poaching incidents in Botswana- of both elephants and rhinos- have been increasing during the past couple of years. The lucrative rhino horn trade in the region is controlled by international criminal syndicates, this is according to wildlife experts.

Last year, poachers slaughtered more than two dozen rhinos throughout Botswana, and already that number has been surpassed during the first four months of 2020, Dereck Joubert notes.
However, Joubert still considers Botswana to be one of the safest places in Africa for rhinos. “While we mourn every rhino that gets killed, and every elephant for that matter, it needs to be seen in context,” he says. “The Botswana numbers are still relatively low.”

“Every time there’s a blood moon or a full moon in Africa everyone involved in conservation—particularly conservation of rhinos—shivers,” said Joubert. In August 2020 Botswana started dehorning rhinos and moving them to new locations in a bid to fend off poachers.

Rhino Conservation Botswana said they have always anticipated that word of Botswana’s healthy rhino populations would get out, but this sudden and intense poaching onslaught was not expected. Botswana is under rapid attack from highly organized international criminal syndicates who employ African poachers with bush experience to poach.

It is poverty that enables poaching in Africa, and the high price paid for a rhino horn is a major incentive for poachers to undertake risky incursions into the deep wilderness of the Okavango Delta. Rhino poaching is driven by demand from an increasingly wealthy middle-class in Asia where rhino horn is illegally traded on the black market, largely as a symbol of wealth and status. “It is our hope that China’s recent ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals in response to the Covid-19 viral epidemic will reduce demand for rhino horn, but this waits to be seen.”

Continue Reading


Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading


African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

Continue Reading


TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

Continue Reading