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Boozy Botswana

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It appears we are a thirsty nation. Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) recently reported that they sold over 70.7 million litres of alcohol in the first six months of the year!

In light of this startling stat, The Voice’s Christinah Motlhabane took to the streets of Francistown to find out why Batswana are drinking so much.

MOHAMBI SAULOS (53)

Families have lost the social fibre. In the past, children were raised by both parents with strict dos and don’ts.

Nowadays most families are single parent families and it is not easy to raise children alone.

They end up leaving home to go out drinking with friends. As I mentioned, we have lost our cultural fibre; we used to know that children are for everyone, when the father is not there the uncle takes over.

But these days everyone minds their own business.

The other thing leading to alcohol consumption is unhappiness.

The high level of unemployment makes people resort to alcohol to find solace.

Botswana doesn’t have support structures that provide counselling. So when one is stressed they drink to forget about whatever is disturbing them.

Even those going through abuse, they don’t know where to go, they see alcohol as the solution.

That is why murder cases are escalating because people are depressed, they don’t know where to seek help and end up killing others brutally.

KELEBOGILE RABOIJANE (30)

I do not drink alcohol but what makes Batswana drink so much is the change in opening times of bars and clubs.

Kelebogile Raboijane

Clubs now stay open until six in the morning and bars close at midnight. Unemployment is also a leading factor in the country’s alcohol consumption.

Road accidents are a result of alcohol. Even HIV Aids is high because of alcohol!

LUCKY NKHURUTSHI (31)

Batswana have a lot of problems so by drinking they are trying to forget them.

They have financial problems, family affairs and then they lack counselling and in the end they go for alcohol.

Lucky Nkhurutshi

The other thing is Botswana is boring! There are no places to relax and enjoy.

We find bars as the only place where one can be happy and forget their stress. Counselling in Botswana is very limited so we get it from drinking.

JANE RAFELE (50)

Batswana like alcohol, period. This is because alcohol is cheap.

And I think even if the prices were increased, they would rather suffer without food and clothes to buy alcohol.

Jane Rafele

It is in their blood that they like alcohol.

KEEME TSHEKO

We do not have entertainment places in Botswana that can keep us busy and happy.

Our entertainment is to go out with friends, get drunk, be happy, harass people and look for women.

Keeme Tsheko

Being seen drinking has that ‘vavavoom’ effect and gets you female attention.

They think you have money. So a lot of men drink just to get noticed!

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. OldGun

    October 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    prices of alcohol and times of bars has nothing to do with alcohol abuse. those who drink too much are those who doesn’t have responsibilities. those who misbehave are those who grew up like that.

  2. thabiso

    October 31, 2019 at 9:59 am

    we are depressed as a nation,our leaders put the wages too low all in the name of attracting foreign investers and everything else is expensive,rent ,fuel and food the basic needs for every Motswana.so ofcourse we are deppressed and we will drink to relieve stress

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Elephant mortality in Okavango rises to 110, Anthrax ruled out

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Wildlife and National Parks department has ruled out Anthrax as a killer disease for elephants along some villages in the Okavango delta.

As of Friday last week, at least 110 dead elephants were discovered in areas of Seronga, Gunotsoga and Eretsha in the past three weeks and were suspected to have died from Anthrax.

However the Anthrax laboratory tests have come back negative, leaving the government departments searching for more answers. 

“Laboratory results have ruled out Anthrax and we are awaiting more results,” explained regional Wildlife coordinator in Maun, Dimakatso Ntshebe.

Ntshebe said his department through the help of veterinary department services are still conducting further tests to find out whether or not this mysterious disease is not a result of poisoning.

The disease according to Ntshebe causes the giant’s front legs to weaken and therefore the unwell animal walks in uncoordinated manner and ultimately drops to its death.

“We don’t know what could be the cause of this disease but we are working around the clock to find out and hopefully work on the cure,” added Ntshebe.

Some samples are to be sent to South Africa for further testing. “We could have taken other samples to the neighbouring Zimbabwe, but because of COVID-19 that brought everything to almost a standstill, we could not send them,” Ntshebe explained before adding that, “before coronavirus outbreak, Botswana and Zimbabwe were in talks and have entered into some agreements including exportation and importation of certain medications, but we have not yet concluded the matter regarding samples, that is why we have not been able to send samples to Zimbabwe.”

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SADC Executive Secretary disturbed by obstacles in movement of goods

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The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stegomena Lawrence Tax, has cautioned member states that any lack of cooperation among then during the COVID19 era has potential to reverse the gains made in the last decades.

Addressing a virtual SADC Council of Ministers meeting this week, Lawrence Tax said that the regional ministers approved Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Movement of Essential Goods and Services across borders early April. 

She said that whilst the guidelines have played a critical role in facilitation of movement of essential goods, there are notable obstacles that have been noted by the Secretariat.

The obstacles include non-compliance/non recognition of regional legal frameworks; uncoordinated operations at the port of entry among border agencies; lack of harmonization and synchronization of policies and procedures among, and between member states; unilateral decisions outside agreed framework; as well as different approaches to deal with epidemiological challenges,” she said. 

She added that; “all these are resulting in increased cost of doing business, and negatively affecting the implementation of national and regional programmes”.

She advised that there is need to have measures, and coordinated approach in place since the region is in a post lockdown period since the transportation of non-essential goods and services will be resuming.

Lawrence Tax added that COVID19 is a global pandemic and that the SADC regional approach should expand to COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite and eventually to other continental blocs.

“The Secretariat is already working with COMESA and EAC, specifically, in terms of harmonizing and synchronizing regulations and procedures for movement of goods and services under the Tripartite arrangement. We need to move in unison and avoid unilateral decisions, specifically with regards to cross border movement of goods and services,” she said.

According to the Executive Secretary, the regional office has already conducted a socio-economic impact analysis of COVID19 on the region and the results have shown that the pandemic will impact negatively across many socio and economic sectors.

“The decline in the global economy is projected to lead to a decline in commodity prices, increase in debt and significant contraction of the SADC economies in 2020. This will reverse the gains on industrial development and trade that the region has made in the last couple of years,” Lawrence Tax said.

On the flip side,  the region’s International Cooperating Partners have made pledges to mitigate the impact of COVID19 pandemic on its economy. 

“To date, the Secretariat has secured Euro 7.3 million from the German Government; Euro3.6million from European Union, Euro 190,000.00 under the GIZ/Africa Union Commission, whereas the African Development Bank (AfDB)  has considered a support UA 7 million. Engagements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are also at an advanced stage,” the Executive Secretary said.

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