Somewhere in this edition we carry a story about the devastating effects of drought in the Ngamiland, where already over 15,000 herds of cattle are reported to have been wiped out by the effects of the drought.
It would seem the sporadic rains that were reported in patches in the various parts of the country have not left farmers with any sense of optimism.Thankfully though Government has acted swiftly by conducting a drought assessment around the country with a view to intervene so Batswana can cope with its effects.
This is in view of the severity of the current drought this year’s Drought and Household Food Security Assessment Tour, according to the Daily News recently. At the end of the assessment tour the Team will determine whether the country is drought-stricken or not, and advise Government on appropriate intervention strategies.
The drought will be the second in a row for Botswana. Recently the Department of Forestry and Range Resources reported that the severe heat and lack of rains had impacted phane harvesters heavily as most places where phane harvesters usually go had little to no worms at all.
The drought spell coincides with a dip into recession by our economy, something that has forced government to come up with the famed Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) to try and reverse the tide and boost the economy.
There is no doubt that if carried out well, as we hope it would, the ESP could go a long way in literally stimulating economic activities, as well as creating jobs and wealth for Batswana and their country.
According to government the ESP, mainly in construction will target largely youth owned enterprises, to reach out to thousands of young graduates who remain unemployed.
Government should nip in the butt fears raised in some quarters that the ESP could be a honeypot for the ruling Party activists. This would be by ensuring that no citizen or citizen-owned companies are disadvantaged during the ESP or Economic Diversification Drive jobs, simply because he is viewed to be in the opposition.
If undertaken cautiously and diligently there is no doubt the ESP and its associated programmes can leave a legacy worth writing about in years to come.