Members of the Rotary Club of Gaborone attended the official launch of the LLIN (Long Life Insecticide Impregnated Net) Mosquito Net mass distribution project at the Gweta . Gweta is in the north of Botswana about 200 km from the Okavango Delta on the Francistown/Nata/Maun road. It is some 720 km from Gaborone by road.

Friday the 23rd of July saw the culmination of much hard work by the Rotary Club of Gaborone when a large contingent of Rotarians and partners (including:President Gary & Natalie Lord, PP Mike & Elsie Lakin, PP Barney & Dympna O'Reilly, Alex & Ann Georgiades, Mike & Alexa Arblaster, PP Bill McLellan, Uli Schmitt, Barbara Butchart, Nitin Jaddoo, Chris Sharp, Kim Sales, Sandra Stonehill and Rotoractor Agrieneth) attended the official launch of the LLIN Mosquito Net mass distribution project at the Gweta kgotla, hosted by the Ministry of Health.

The Minister of Health, the Hon. Rev. Dr. John G.N. Seakgosing, presided over the launch, with representatives from the WHO, UNICEF, the Clinton Foundation, the Hindu Society, the Anglican Diocese and many local dignitaries also in attendance. Entertainment was provided by a vibrant and popular local choir group, as well as by a talented comedy trio, who enacted the correct usage of the nets in a comedic sketch which had the audience in fits of laughter.  Refreshments were provided to the attendees courtesy of Rotary Club of Gaborone and we  thank AGUA for the donation of  480 bottles of mineral water.

The Rotary Club of Gaborone together with the Rotary Club of Charlotte, Carolina, USA and the Rotary Foundation  raised US$37000, enough funds to provide 5200 nets to the project. President Gary used the occasion of the launch to highlight some of our other projects, and to commit us to continued involvement in the attempt to eradicate malaria in Botswana by 2015.

With the formalities over, Rotarians were invited to lunch with the Minister and entourage, and then joined the Ministerial convoy to attend a secondary project launch at the village of Tsokatshaa. Here, as in Gweta, we accompanied Ministry workers to individual homesteads to participate in the actual handover of nets to the public.

The weekend also served as a perfect excuse for some Fellowship in the beautiful surroundings of Nata Lodge and the northern tip of the Makgadikgadi Pans.   Variously accommodated in chalets, safari  tents and in the palm tree festooned campsite, members were able to eat well, drink well, watch rugby (or not!), go on game drives , paddle in the Pans and generally relax . Good fun and good service combined!

Story Content - Rotarian Kim Sales

Photograph - Rotarian Sandra Stonehill

Click HERE to view a slide show of the LLIN Mosquito Net Mass Distribution Project - Gweta Botswana