Gcwihaba — Promoting or marketing tourism sites in the country remains one of the top priorities at the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism.
As part of the marketing strategy, the ministry recently celebrated the 2021 international museum day at one of Botswana’s most fascinating and extraordinary heritage sites, Gcwihaba caves.
Speaking at the event, minister Philda Kereng said her ministry had recently completed an integrated management plan for NG4 concession area, that included the Gcwihaba caves, as deliberate steps in response to the welfare needs of communities around the areas where the heritage sites are situated.
“Today’s celebrations should reignite socio-economic activities for the Xaixai and Qangwa communities. This is another effort to facilitate the local communities to derive economic benefits at heritage sites to improve their livelihoods,” she said.
The minister also highlighted that by taking the celebrations to Gcwihaba, the ministry wanted to show care and appreciation of the existence of the national heritage, while also nurturing domestic cultural tourism.
Ms Kereng further noted that Botswana had abundant, rich natural and cultural heritage that provided great potential to diversify the tourism sector.
She said the National Eco-Tourism Strategy laid out the government’s aims in renewing pride in local culture for sustainable utilisation of national heritage for community benefits, while the community based natural resource management policy offered local communities the opportunity to participate in tourism development and natural resource conservation.
She therefore implored communities to take advantage of such programmes to enhance their livelihoods.
For his part, Ngami MP, Mr Caterpillar Hikuama appreciated efforts by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism to promote tourist attraction sites such as the Gcwihaba caves.
He however pleaded with government to rehabilitate access roads to the caves, which would see more people effortlessly reaching the place.
Kgosi John Marenga of Xaixai narrated how in the past people used to hunt and gather from Gcwihaba, adding that they benefited a lot from the area.
He also said they used to go to the caves to pray for blessings so that they could easily kill animals within the vicinity of Gcwihaba.
This year’s international museum day was celebrated under the theme: The Future of Museums, Recover and Reimagine’, which resonated with the anticipated changes that the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism want to visualise and re-build the future of local museums.
Source : BOPA