The new Chairman of the North West District Council, Kebareeditse Ntsogotho says Botswana’s gateway to the prestigious Okavango Delta, Maun, is not appeasing to international tourists and the village therefore needs a serious upgrade to match a tourism hub of note.
In an interview with this publication, the Khwai/Mababe Councilor said Maun is still lacking far behind when it is compared to other tourism towns in the Southern African region. He noted that a lot is not being done in terms of coming up with initiatives that will help attract incoming tourists to stay in Maun, make them enjoy and spend more of their revenue in the village.
“We need to encourage our community to come up with initiatives such as parks and other activities that will help attract international tourists to Maun,” the outspoken councilor added that there are already available features such as the Thamalakane River, entertainment spots such as ‘beaches and big tree’ which if well developed they can help transform Maun into becoming a tourism destination.
It has always been a great concern that although most international tourists pass through Maun to connect to the Okavango Delta and other tourism attractions, they rarely spend time in the village because it has nothing to offer them.
Even the Office of the President has also challenged authorities in the North West District to come up with a plan that will transform Maun into a ‘green city’. This is a concept of increasing sustainability of the village, the one that strives to to balance ecological, economic, and social needs to ensure a clean, healthy and safe environment for the community and also for generations to come.
Meanwhile the Council Chairman (Ntsogotho) says there is also need for his council to venture into the Public Private Partnership (PPP) system for investors to partner with them in a bid to develop Maun further. He highlighted that Maun does not have a proper advanced shopping mall of which the residents can point and be proud of.
“This calls for us as a council to wake up, because we have seen other councils in our country getting into an agreement with a private sector that built a mall in their plot and that council is generating revenue from the deal,” he gave an instance.
Ntsogotho believes that it is also possible for Game City and other big shopping malls operating in Gaborone and Francistown to come and also open business in Maun. He also complained that Maun does not have proper road infrastructure befitting a tourism area.
“If it means asking money from General Fund we can do that so that we can make sure that Maun gets a facelift,” he stressed.