Debswana Diamond Company recently handed over the completed Bowasetso Community Park sports facility in Moselewapula Ward, commonly known as Phase 2, in Gaborone.
The facility, built at a cost of P4 million, is fitted with, among other amenities, 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.
When handing over the park, Debswana Acting Managing Director, Lynette Armstrong said that the long-awaited sustainable park was a vehicle of economic sustenance for the Phase 2 community as it offered many possibilities by way of financial revenue streams. “This donation of this facility forms part of a broader commitment that Debswana has, and it is about advancing human and social development in Botswana,” she explained. “We are extremely proud of our legacy of CSI, where we have continued to support initiatives around education, health, enterprise development, youth development support, sports development, among others.”
“It is our hope as Debswana that the park will be well maintained and go a long way in sustaining the livelihoods of all within this catchment area,” she said. “We hope to see vulnerable groups including women and youth being allowed access to this facility for their self-development, self-empowerment and therapy.” Additionally, what makes the facility quite unique is that it answers to Debswana’s green vision of sustainability and environmental conservation. This is in line with the Company’s quest to leave a close to zero carbon footprint on the environment.
“As the benefactor of this outstanding project, this is Debswana’s message and plea to the custodians of Bowasetso Community Park – here is a diamond, look after it, protect it, keep it shining for future generations!” Speaking during the official handover of the park, guest of honour, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Hon. Anna Mokgethi lauded Debswana for its generous donation which she said has a positive impact on people’s lives.
“Our gathering here bears witness of Debswana’s commitment to enhance the human and social life of Batswana through the development of Bowasetso Park,” she said adding that she was most gratified and honoured by Debswana’s continuous support through CSI for the Phase 2 community. Hon. Mokgethi, who is also MP for Bonnington North, said the initiative could not have come at a better time when the COVID-19 pandemic, and other social ills like gender-based violence, substance abuse, rape and teenage pregnancies were wreaking havoc in communities.
“We need developments such as this park to get in touch with our souls in order to retrace our steps and create conducive lives for ourselves,” the Minister explained. “A visit to the park is therapy on its own.” The Minister concurred with the Acting MD that the Phase 2 catchment cannot afford to turn the facility into a white elephant, especially considering the hefty amount of money that was used to develop the park. The impressive facility, which lies on land that has been fallow for decades, also has public braai stands for patrons’ culinary nibbles, power supply to the sports field, portable water supply to the sports field, sewerage connection to the council mains, paved and secure car parking facility, security and flood lighting of the fields for sports usage, an office and storeroom with internet access, landscaping around the sports grounds for a better cosmetic appeal, an exhibition area, café and clubhouse facility for convenient use by the public for events. The park’s main beneficiaries, the Phase 2 community were called on to protect the facility if its benefits were to be realised. “Let us police this facility every day,” she pleaded. “Let us make this park our own. Let us protect it so that it remains forever without being vandalised.”
Gaborone Mayor, Hon. Father Maphongo thanked Debswana for the generosity and promised that the effort by Debswana would not go to waste. He urged community leaders in surrounding areas to partner with Debswana for the benefit of the residents of the community they lead. Debswana’s indelible CSI legacy has seen significant transformations in Botswana, with such notable initiatives including sponsorship of the National First National Division League, Re Ba Bona Ha Programme, Education Awards, Installation of clinics in different villages, food security projects such as installation of ranches in the Boteti Area, Arts & Craft projects, water reticulation projects and more.