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Lake Ngami is haunted, claimed Maun Chief

BONIFACE KEAKABETSE
MAUN: Ancient ghosts hovering on the waters of Lake Ngami are believed to be behind the drowning incidents reported in the waters of Ngami. Batawana deputy chief, Pringle Dithapo, says the vast Lake Ngami has a dark side; it is haunted and dangerous and visitors need to guard themselves against its consuming effect.

Eight people have drowned in the lake this year. Speaking recently during the launch of the internet Hub at Moremi Primary School, Dithapo said the lake in the past had a reputation for being inhabited by ghosts.  “Incidents about boats which drove themselves in the lake were common knowledge in the olden days before the lake went dry. Personally, I did my primary education in Sehitwa village along the lake and have experiences about the spooky issues surrounding lake Ngami” Dithapo said

Dithapo noted that there seems to be a disregard for indigenous knowledge on the use of the lake. “People from here know that a River has a way, there would know where to swim and where it maybe dangerous to do so. He said, however, recently this has been ignored which may explain high incidents of drowning in the  Okavango Delta and Lake Ngami.

So far, this year, eight people have perished by drowning in the lake. Dithapo advised local and international tourists alike to consult with the locals who have information on

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the river before plunging into the waters.

Reports about the Lake’s haunted past are common knowledge in this area. During the rescue operation of some people who drowned in the lake recently, one elderly man attested to this  dark past along the lakes shores.” Ke mokgwa wa lone lesha le go tswa bogologolong. Le ntsha Dithapi kaha le ntse le bolaaa batho.” This is its custom this lake. It takes lives in exchange for the fish it gives”, he noted

Speaking during the donation of community lifejackets to Matlapana residents, Professor Joseph Mbaiwa of the Okavango Research Institute observed that most people who lose their lives in the local water bodies are visitors to Ngamiland. He said this may be due to lack of education on the river use. He observed that it is necessary for the country to come up with standards to guide which boat are safer to use on the rivers. He also observed that there is lack of warning messages guiding which River spots may be dangerous for traversing.



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