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DONATION: Kgosi Gakebone and Lawlor handing out blankets

*Francistown Rotary Club donates blankets to MaJaNa’s needy

About 30km from Jamataka in the Shashe West Constituency lies a settlement called Lekoba. Accessed through a gravel road 15km from the Francistown/Orapa road, Lekoba is home to about 400 people, mostly of Basarwa tribe.

With no source of income or any form of employment except for Ipelegeng, residents are completely dependent on government handouts.

Despite the visible poverty, Lekoba has an alluring appeal.

The neatly kept mud houses and perimeter fences constructed from mophane tree poles give this settlement a unique and somewhat unnatural appeal.

The courtyard (kgotla) has been swept spotlessly clean, and it is here about 100 residents are gathered waiting for the arrival of the Francistown Rotary Club team.

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A concerned area Councillor Jerry Franzen of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) had approached the Rotary Club and shared the plight of his constituents with them.

Franzen is a Councillor for Makobo, Jamataka and Natale (MaJaNa) ward of which Lekoba settlement falls under.

CONCERNED: Councillor Franzen

Shashe West has a lot of such settlements unrecognised by the government such as Dzidzipa, Mapatse, Shorojenae and Maotakgang.

In an interview with The Voice Franzen said he has been knocking on many doors of companies and NGO’s with little success until the Rotary Club heard his plea and decided to donate blankets to some of the residents.

“The Village Development Committee (VDC) was in charge of the list of the beneficiaries. Nothing was done along political lines. VDC gave me the list which I submitted to the Rotary Club,” he said.

Franzen said it was a hard nock life for most of the residents whose only source of water are private boreholes.

“It’s a settlement so government has no obligation to provide water,” Franzen said.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Rotary Club President John Lawlor said as an NGO they respond to the plight of the poor and help whenever they can.

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“We thought blankets for now would be ideal and will keep warm this winter,” he said.

Lawlor promised the appreciative Lekoba residents that they’ll monitor their situation and whenever the means allow, Rotary Club will come back to lend a helping hand.

His sentiments were shared by Gaolape Florence Makgarapa who advised those who did not receive the blankets to not lose hope.

“We realise that there’re a number of things that people need here and at the Rotary Club we’re committed to helping people wherever they are in Botswana in line with our vision,” she said.

The club also donated blankets in Jamataka where close to 50 needy residents received blankets.

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