– Botswana Daily News
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi on Tuesday unveiled an over P7.5 million solar street lights project covering Khuis, Gakhibane and Makopong villages.
Speaking at Khuis kgotla, Dr Masisi said the project was in line with inclusive development of remote areas.
He encouraged the people to leverage on the new development to improve their lives.
The President said the street lights were a donation from the Chinese government adding that there was more to learn from China in terms of eradicating poverty and hunger.
China, with a population of about 1.3 billion people, had successfully managed to eradicate hunger and poverty, he said.
President Masisi said he continued to build a strong partnership with China in order to transform the lives of Batswana.
Meanwhile the President has commended the Kgalagadi District Council for successfully monitoring the project through good coordination noting that it was of a high standard and was completed on schedule.
For his part, Chinese ambassador to Botswana, Dr Zhao Yanbo said the 300 lights were donated as part of the President’s initiative of uplifting Batswana’s lives through rural development.
He said the initiative integrated well with the Chinese embassy’s programme for improving local people’s livelihoods, especially the vulnerable.
“I believe that with these lights, the residents can enjoy safer and brighter evenings from now on. Let it light up hope for a better life for the people,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development assistant minister, Mr Setlhabelo Modukanele said the new development would boost local economic empowerment initiatives.
He said the project had contributed to the improvement of the local economy as workers leased village development committee houses throughout the project’s duration.
Kgalagadi District Council deputy chairperson, Mr Lentswe Lesenyegile said the project, which was implemented by New Energy (Pty) Ltd, commenced in September and was completed last month.
Noting that the area had an abundance of renewable energy resources, Mr Lesenyegile urged local authorities to continue devising ways of maximising the use of solar in district projects.
Solar, he said, was the future as it could be used throughout the district for projects such as powering remote area settlements schools. Another speaker, Kgalagadi South MP Mr Sam Brooks said the project would boost development in the district.
Mr Brooks urged local authorities to maintain the lights to ensure that they reached their 50-year lifespan and encouraged residents to take good care of them.
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