PALAPYE: In an endeavour to build a legacy in Palapye, Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) vice chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo last week handed over a shelter at the village’s main kgotla.
The kgotla shelter was built by BIUST at a cost of P136,000. Construction resumed in March this year and was completed two months later in May.
The shelter was handed to Kgosi Martha Lebang and some of the village elders on Friday.
The construction of the shelter was BIUST’s answer to a plea of the village chiefs that decried the ever-growing community of the developing Palapye overwhelmed the kgotla’s old shelter, particularly on bad weather days when people need a canopy above their heads.
Totolo said through the project and many others, BIUST was appreciating the community for sacrificing their homes, ploughing lands and cattle-posts to accommodate the university.
BIUST sits on 2,500 hectares of land that villagers were relocated from.
“We are delighted today with this contribution to the kgotla. This is an important community place where we can learn about the culture of our village so that we become good citizens of Palapye,” he said.
“It is through such contributions that we show our commitment to our communities and our environment.”
Through its corporate social responsibility programme, the university has contributed to Palapye and areas in its periphery with various community-developing projects.
Amongst others, BIUST connected a 10km water pipeline from the borehole at Dikabeya for ease of water access for
BIUST also established a partnership with the House of Hope Trust in Palapye. House of Hope was selected as a beneficiary of donations, and any other type of aid from BIUST’s partnership with the University of Cincinnati based in Ohio, in the U.S. The international institution also trained 765 teachers based in Palapye and surrounding areas in Introduction to Computers. This was later extended to a few schools in the Kweneng District.
“We would be rendered irrelevant if we don’t connect with the communities. We are a research and innovation university, and we need to identify and assist in challenges that besiege the communities,” Totolo added.
When appreciating the BIUST gesture, Kgosi Lebang said the village was headed for exponential growth and development, thus resulting in a need for supporting social welfare facilities amongst them a well-developed and capacitated kgotla.
“We take pride in BIUST. They have over numerous times in various situations presented themselves not only as a centre for higher learning, but also a partner in village economic and social development,” she said. Lebang appreciated the retired Kgosi Masego Olebile and Kgosi Michael Maforaga for initiating the construction of the shelter.