Debswana invests over P100 million on infrastructure development
In response to Government's call for long-lasting and sustainable infrastructure development throughout Botswana, Debswana intensified the funding of massive projects that are set to benefit communities for generations. In the past three years, Debswana has spent over P100 million on construction of various infrastructure to benefit communities.
The infrastructure development drive is being realised through the diamond mining company's Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and major capital projects' legacy programmes, which cover initiatives around Debswana's mines, as well as throughout the country for the benefit of all Batswana This is part of Debswana Building Forever sustainability programme which is part of Debswana 2024 One Dream One Team strategy. It supports delivery towards Botswana's Vision 2036 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Investment in water infrastructure
Debswana launched Botswana's largest waste water harvesting plant for industrial use at the beginning of 2020. At P65 million, it is the largest of its kind in Botswana that uses treated sewerage water for industrial/mining use. It is an example that Debswana is setting for the rest of the mining companies and other large water users in Botswana to harvest waste water, treat it and put it to appropriate use. The plant solves the problem of under-utilisation of sewage water and resultant pollution. For many years, the Water Utilities Corporation's ponds in Jwaneng have been overflowing, attracting livestock from surrounding villages. As such environmental conservation wise, the plant mitigates problems caused by animals encroaching into the stagnant dirty water and lessens the pungent smell from the town's sewerage confines.
In addition, Jwaneng Mine and business partners funded Machana Water Reticulation to the tune of P2 million. Machana village was facing serious water shortage. The Mine and business partners pulled together to provide water for the village.
Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines assisted Boteti sub-district with resources for the completion of Rakops-Xere water pipeline valued at P366, 000.00.
Investment in education infrastructure
Sese village, located near Jwaneng, has been one of the beneficiaries of Debswana's benevolence. The village school was facing a shortage of classrooms, with some classes hosted under trees. Two blocks of four classrooms were built, to the tune of P2 million.
Jwaneng Mine and Jwaneng Cycling Club donated a classroom block (two classrooms) and a prefabricated classroom worth more than P1 Million to Machana Primary School at Machana village. The classroom block was built through funds generated from the 2020 Jwaneng Mine General Manager's annual Cycle Charity Race managed by Jwaneng Cycling Club, while the prefabricated classroom was bought through Corporate Social Investment (CSI) funds.Two blocks of four classrooms were built, to the tune of P2 million.
Just a few kilometers away, Pitseng village was also experiencing the same challenge of shortage of classrooms at Pitseng Primary School. Once again, Debswana stepped in to invest P1 million towards construction of more classrooms. This was at a time when the school's facilities were struggling to sustain the growing number of school-going children in the school's catchment area. Additionally there was construction and equipping of Lefhoko Primary School Kitchen by Jwaneng Mine, to the tune of P1,3 million.
Similarly, and in response to Boteti community's calls for support to its education drive, Debswana Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) invested P2.4 million towards the construction of Orapa Junior Secondary School classrooms. This has seen a huge boost to the school, with learners now evenly distributed in classrooms. This is more so given the need to decongest classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, there was construction of two outdoor classrooms at Makgadikgadi Junior Secondary School by OLDM, to the tune of P240 000.
Investment in health infrastructure
Botswana's health infrastructure has also greatly expanded as a result of critical interventions by Debswana. In addition to Debswana owned hospitals and clinics located in Jwaneng and Orapa (and accessible to members of the community, thus providing services to more than 200 000 people per annum), the company has installed health facilities around the country.
Debswana recently constructed a clinic in Maboane at a cost of P11 million. Located 70km from Jwaneng, the clinic is of strategic importance to Debswana, given that it is close to some of the Mine facilities. It will also benefit the people of Maboane, Takatokwane, Dutlwe and other neighbouring villages.
Jwaneng Mine funded the construction of Tsonyane Clinic in a move that will see villagers in the new facility's catchment easily access the much needed health services. The clinic was constructed at a cost of P2 million.
Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) funded the construction of Letlhakane Maternity Wing to the tune of P5 million. This project is of greater benefit to pregnant women who will not have to travel longer distances. There was also extension of Moreomaoto clinic by OLDM at the value of P1.6 million (proceeds were generated from the General Manager's walk).
In addition, Debswana has also made further investment in other projects such as renovation of Mmatshumo COVID-19 Isolation centre and transformation of the council facility into a COVID-19 Isolation Centre. The Debswana old clinic facility was also renovated and used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.
Rural infrastructure development remains a key priority in the quest to decentralise services that are often only accessed in urban areas.
Another key infrastructure that Debswana funded is Letlhakane solar street lighting by OLDM to the of value P2 352 000.
In Gaborone, one of the key highlights includes the Bowasetso Recreational Park, where Debswana ploughed just over P4 million to install several amenities. These include a jogging or walking track for fitness enthusiasts, a tennis court, a multi-purpose basketball-cum-netball court, a five-a- side football pitch, a playground for children, a sanitation and ablution block, and a perimeter palisade fence for users' security. Over and above catering for fitness enthusiasts and hosting various events, the park will generate funds for the community for further investment into the park and other various community projects.
These projects have positively changed the lives of beneficiary communities, which had been facing serious challenges.
Debswana remains committed to long-lasting national development that will benefit all Batswana, not only in the present, but for future generations. It is the solid commitment to changing people's lives that Debswana continues to mine diamonds safely, optimally, ethically and responsibly.