Tsabong, 17–21 August 2020, the Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Drylands Ecosystem Project (KGDEP) in collaboration with Botswana’s Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) conducted the second session of bushfire fighting training for two villages in the Kgalagadi South district, namely Gakhibana and Khuis. This training aligns with the planned trainings for communities in the Kgalagadi district as stipulated in the KGDEP 2020 Annual Work Plan (AWP) and follows the initial training conducted in June 2020 in Kgalagadi North’s (Zutshwa and Ngwatle) villages. The second training in Kgalagadi South included 20 community members from both Gakhibana and Khuis and was focused on improving community-based fire management skills in the Kalahari region for prompt responses to fire incidents within their communities, and subsequently improving rangeland integrity of these communities.
Overview of the training
The training facilitators comprised technical officers from the DFRR, namely Mr Copper Sakhu, Mr Odirile Phori and Ms Gloria Komanyane. Including both theoretical and practical components, the training commenced with an oral presentation and group discussions, while subsequent practical fieldwork entailed prescribed fire suppression techniques. Through active participation, the trainees displayed their enthusiasm and willingness to be pro-active in all practical activities required by the training.
At the training in Gakhibana, there were 26 trainees, 10 of which were women and 16 were men. In addition to general community members, village extension personnel, as well as the Village Development Committee (VDC) chairperson, Kgosi Jan Jacobs and three headmen participated in the training. Towards the end of the training, the trained members were organised into a firefighting team named “Gakhibana Vuure Vapens Firefighting Volunteers Team”.