Enhancing the Tourism Product at Lekhubu Island
Enhancing the Tourism Product at Lekhubu Island
Gaing-O Community Trust (GCT) was legally registered in 1997 to represent the interest and aspirations of the community of Mmatshumo and surrounding settlements. It was formed out of a concern by the Mmatshumo community on damages caused at Lekhubu Island as a result of uncontrolled tourism activities and lack of proper management. The community was losing out on the potential benefits emanating from tourism such as income generation and employment.

The tourism industry has been identified as an engine of economic growth for the country. Through the Community Based Natural Resources Management initiative, GCT has taken advantage of the devolution of user rights by the government to venture into tourism industry as an alternative sustainable livelihood option for the benefit and appreciation of the community of Mmatshumo. Lekhubu Island is the only place in Botswana that has prominent rocky features with a breath taking view of the saltpans in Makgadikgadi, unique aesthetic beauty, archaeological setting and cultural significance. Moreover, it is highly marketable with the large expanse of land that creates a mirage on the horizon in the morning.

The objective of the project is to increase the livelihood options through tourism benefits from Lekhubu Island to Mmatshumo community and surrounding localities. GCT recognises eco-tourism as an alternative livelihood option that can facilitate diversification from agricultural production and increase the income base of the community. Through the envisaged completion of the cultural centre, movement of campsites and provision of water, GCT wishes to provide first class services to tourists; making Lekhubu Island a destination of choice.
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Project Snapshot

Gaing-O Community Trust
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 116,959.49
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 10,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
According to the 2001 population and housing census, there were 1686 people (846 men and 840 women) residing in Matshumo and associated localities. Despite the minimal difference in numbers between men and women, the trust upholds the principles of good governance and democracy hence both men and women will participate equally in decision making and benefit equally from trust activities. Because of the proximity to the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines run by Debswana Diamond Mining Company, most of the men seek employment at such leaving most of the families headed by women. In addition, the localities of Mmatshumo are dominated by the marginalized Basarwa who are an integral part of the trust. Therefore, the proposed projects will cement promotion of gender equality, equal opportunities and support.
Notable Community Participation
As a community based initiative, the eco-tourism venture is the brain child of the Mmatshumo community. In the past tourists used to visit Lekhubu Island, appreciate and enjoy the aesthetic beauty for free with no benefits to the community. In the process, artefacts were stolen, an everlasting loss to the community. To ensure that such does not happen in the future, the Mmatshumo community through GCT is actively policing the island and getting benefits in return. The community will participate in the project through provision of labour during completion of the cultural centre and movement of the campsites. Through kgotla meetings, the community will be able to contribute ideas for fast tracking the project.
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Grantee Contact

Mr Goabaone Bolesitswe
Phone: 2979612
Fax: 2979612
Email: kubu.island@botsnet.bw


P O Box 54, Mmatshumo, Botswana
Gaborone , SADC ,



SGP Country office contact

Ms. Abigail Engleton
+267 363-3767
Mr Baboloki Autlwetse


UN Building, Government Enclave Corner Khama Crescent & President Drive P O Box 54
Gaborone, SADC