Shokomokwa Borehole Brings Life and Water to Community

Wilderness Safaris Botswana, in partnership with Karin Fröhlich, Wilderness’ Germany-based sales representative, and community leaders, recently joined forces to revive and donate a derelict borehole in Shokomokwa settlement in Ngamiland. Located 7 km outside Shorobe on the road heading to the Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park in Botswana, the new borehole is just a few hundred metres from the last house in Shokomokwa – bringing life – and metsi (water) – to the community.

Unusual challenges necessitate unconventional thinking, and this was very much the case in finding a simple yet effective solution to the double challenge of water scarcity and human-wildlife conflict in the remote settlement of Shokomokwa. Before the borehole was revived, ladies in the community had to either walk or travel by donkey cart around 7 km daily to fetch water from the river, often encountering dangerous wildlife, even lions and elephants, along the way.

As Kgosi Seguma, Chief of the village, likes to say, "Water is life; you can't do anything without it”. However, a closer, consistent supply of water would not only eliminate time wasted in traveling down to the river but would also keep his people out of harm’s way.

The borehole already existed and was a point from where mobile safari operators historically collected water before heading into the Moremi Game Reserve, as well as where the Tsetse Fly Control Department sourced water in the early 80s. The borehole fell into ruin years ago, and soon became defunct. “We located it, reconditioned and cleaned it up, and then equipped it with a durable and functional pump, as well as the other key fittings and pipes required. We are immensely grateful for extra support from Karin Fröhlich, who raised the additional funds needed to make this happen”, Kim added.  

Attending the handover of the revived borehole to the community, Attorney Vasco, Wilderness Safaris Botswana Sales Manager, said, “We have been working with the Shorobe community for more than two years, and especially lately have been engaging to help alleviate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on residents. Shorobe is also where the management for other settlements, including Shokomokwa, is administered. A relationship commenced on ideas to improve the local economy in the area and continues to date. During our engagements, Kgosi Seguma and Honourable Councillor Oabile Chombo noted the need for water at Shokomokwa. It’s exhilarating to see the progress and the impact thus far, with a simple solution to two very real challenges”.

Councillor Chombo, who attended the handover in May, said: "You have brought a great relief to the community and its future generations", while a village elder, Mrs Selelo Manga, said in gratitude, “If only I had wings to fly around in the sky to show my happiness”.