KAVANGO ZAMBEZI

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TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION AREA (KAZA TFCA)

 

Tourism Without Boundaries
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Thursday, 06 February 2020 10:18
The New Face of the old Matlapan Bridge The New Face of the old Matlapan Bridge

The oldest bridge in the Maun area, situated within the Kavango Zambezi-Trans frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) component of Botswana at the Matlapana village was recently rehabilitated with financial support from the Federal Republic of German through KfW to the KAZA TFCA. The rehabilitation project, which started on the 11th of April 2019 was completed on 23rd December 2019.

The New Face of the old Matlapan BridgeHon. Minister Phildha Nani Kereng officially opening the Bridge, on looking the Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Natural resource Conservation and Tourism, Dr O. Koboto, and MP Mr Kekgonegile.

The oldest bridge in the Maun area, situated within the Kavango Zambezi-Trans frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) component of Botswana at the Matlapana village was recently rehabilitated with financial support from the Federal Republic of German through KfW to the KAZA TFCA. The rehabilitation project, which started on the 11th of April 2019 was completed on 23rd December 2019.
The Government of Botswana through the Department of National Museum and Monuments implemented the project. The project was completed on time and within the allocated budget of EUR 207,257.

Speaking when she officiated at the handover ceremony on 31st January 2020, the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Hon. Philda Nani Kereng, acknowledged the bridge’s historical significance to the area and region. She noted that the site where the bridge is located was the first crossing point by foot or ox wagons connecting Maun and the rest of the neighboring states. Honorable Kereng also pointed out that the rehabilitated bridge will enhance the tourism development prospects. She also acknowledged the bridge’s role in building and sustaining the social capital among the residents as it would enhance easy movements to both banks of the Thamalakane river. The Minister thanked the Federal Republic of Germany and KAZA TFCA Secretariat for their financial support and facilitation respectively.

The New Face of the old Matlapan BridgeMember of Parliament Hon. Goretetse Kekgonegile giving closing remarks

Speaking at the same event, the Matlapana village Chief, Kgosi Kesekile, said that that the original ‘Old bridge’, was made by mophane and palm tree logs and some gravel by community served as a link to access social amenities during the time of floods. He applauded the rehabilitation which he noted would assure enhanced access to services and connectivity for the local residents.

The KAZA TFCA Executive Director, Dr Nyambe Nyambe informed the dignitaries and stakeholders at the event that the bridge was one of the priority projects agreed upon through a consultative and inclusive stakeholder engagement process undertaken during the development of Botswana’s Integrated Development Plan for the KAZA TFCA. He observed that the bridge, in addition to meeting and delivering cultural heritage goals spelled out in the project document, the project was relevant to goals for tourism development, mitigating climate change impacts through enhancing the community’s resilience, addressing human wildlife conflict risks – especially involving hippos and crocodiles, as well as meeting community development aspirations.

In his closing remarks at the ceremony, Maun East Member of Parliament, Hon. Goretetse Kekgonegile thanked the Minister and He called for close collaboration between the Matlapana Community Trust and the Department of National Heritage and Museums. The event was attended by the residents, the acting Permanent Secretary and various directors from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, officials from the District Administration as well as the private sector representatives.

 

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