BPC's relentless trees destruction condemned

Mopane cut in Maun
Mopane cut in Maun

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is under fire for its relentless chopping down of old trees in Maun, the gateway of the Okavango Delta. Ever since February, BPC has destroyed several old trees along the streets of Maun, some as old as over 200 years.

According to environmentalists working in the area, most of the trees are cut at their bases, which effectively kills them.

Some of the trees are natural heritage since they were there before Batawana settleed in Maun.

One of the environmentalists who requested anonymity said what is disheartening is that some of the trees are not disturbing the corporation’s power lines and so it is strange why they are chopped down.

Trees brought down are big Mopanes, Shepherd’s trees (motopi), Rain trees (Mopororo) as well as several Palm trees (mokolwane) which are iconic and attractive features of Maun and the Okavango Delta.

Maun is part of the sensitive ecosystem of the Okavango Delta, 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Questioned why BPC decided to chop down whole trees than just trim them as their project claims, the corporation responded that it is necessary to do so.

“Tree cutting under power lines within line servitude is necessary to maintain safety clearance and allow for maintenance of the power lines to be undertaken. The servitudes are also a component of infrastructure development, and these cannot be constructed, operated, and maintained without clearing of the bush just like any other development that takes place,” said BPC.

Even though BPC said its Servitudes clearance exercise is “tree trimming and bush clearing” in Maun its contractor is chopping down the whole trees without an option of trimming, said BPC spokesperson, Dineo Seleke.

BPC further claims that “in instances where only branches are in contact or close to contacting power lines, the Corporation then trims/prunes these off to comply with the safety clearance standards”.

In Maun they have instead brought down several old trees and not just branches close to contacting power. lines.

Editor's Comment
A step in the right direction

That is indeed a welcome development, especially looking at the fact that the manual way of doing things is slowly disappearing and competency in the use of computers and other digital gadgets has become a must.The simple way of looking at it is just an example that almost all companies have gone completely digital and school leavers will be better placed after leaving school, because they will already be familiar with the use of computers.The...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up