Committed to its Impact vision of protecting Botswana’s wildlife, and the communities who live alongside it, in April and May 2022 Wilderness Safaris Botswana provided more than 1 100 food hampers to residents in the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) and Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust villages around its private wilderness areas.
While tourism is gradually recovering, the combined deprivation from COVID-related loss of tourism, and its knock-on effects on people’s incomes, are still keenly felt in the rural areas.
Between 25 and 30 April, Wilderness and its non-profit partner Children in the Wilderness distributed 870 food hampers in the OCT villages of Seronga, Gunotsoga, Eretsha, Beetsha and Gudigwa near Wilderness Vumbura Plains in the north-eastern Okavango Delta, as well as Habu and Tubu on the western edge of the Delta.
On 17 May a further 235 food hampers were distributed in Shorobe, Sankuyo and Matsaudi villages on the Delta’s eastern border.
The chiefs, Village Development Committees (VDCs) and the communities at large were very appreciative of the continued outreach, as well as their long-term relationship with Wilderness Safaris Botswana.
“We are very thankful for the partnership that exists between our communities and Wilderness Botswana, and are so grateful for the company’s efforts in contributing towards our livelihood during these exceptionally difficult times”, said Kgosi Maeze Bayeyi Maeze of Seronga.
In addition to overwhelming assistance from both trusts, Wilderness also received much-appreciated support from OTL Transport & Logistics, which has unhesitatingly provided free transport for the company’s COVID-Relief deliveries since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
“We have a long-standing commitment to support our partner-communities, and there couldn’t be a better time to support them than now. We are on our eighth food hamper distribution since April 2020, and so far, over 8 000 families have benefited from this initiative. This translates to over 32 000 individuals impacted, most of whom are women and children”, added Moalosi Lebekwe, Wilderness Botswana Stakeholder Manager, who facilitated the deliveries.