Stories written by Alma Balopi

DEATH PENALTY: ‘It Cheapens Human Life’

In a country where the death penalty enjoys vocal support from both the government and the public, lawyer and politician Duma Boko is not afraid to stand firmly against it. Boko will be in court on Apr. 15 to argue for the life of a client against daunting odds.

BOTSWANA: Capital Upgrade for City’s Sewers

The evidence of Gaborone's inadequate sewerage system hangs in the air over the Botswana capital's low income area. Pit latrines dominate, and residents complain that the city doesn't empty them frequently enough. But the end may be in sight.

BOTSWANA: Women in Politics – A House Divided… But Determined

"The Botswana Caucus for Women in Politics has failed to realise the objectives it was intended for, but we will not give up on it just yet," says Margaret Nasha.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Plumbing Grey Data for Clear Water

They come like pilgrims to the Department of Geological Surveys office in Lobatse, 120 kilometres south of the Botswanan capital. In the sparsely furnished offices there, they pore over charts, trying to take the guesswork out of choosing where to sink a borehole.

BOTSWANA: Not All Women in Local Government Making a Difference

Florence Shagwa, a female councillor at the Gaborone City Council, considers her three-year business qualification worthless.

BOTSWANA: HIV-positive Mothers Not Convinced to Exclusively Breastfeed

"An HIV-positive woman must never be encouraged to breastfeed because regardless of what the doctors or researchers say - it is too dangerous for the baby," says Koziba Kelatlhe an HIV-positive mother who was advised by health workers not to breastfeed her child.

BOTSWANA: Acquiring a Taste for Recycled Water

Many Batswana are quick to recoil at the mere mention of drinking treated wastewater.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Realising Trade in Virtual Water

The vegetables Omphemetse Monyi sells at the Francistown bus rank come from 400 kilometres away in South Africa. One approach to development might seek to replace her suppliers with local farmers, but Southern Africa's water managers are considering the merits of reinforcing a regional trade in "virtual water".

Botswana farmers in a test plot for sorghum at Mmalore. Credit:  Alma Balopoi/IPS

Windfall for Botswana Farmers

Two of Botswana's biggest breweries are putting smiles on the faces of farmers. No, they are not giving beer away: the breweries are planning to buy sorghum from small-scale farmers at prices far higher than the Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) is offering.

Mokoro dugouts in the Okavango Delta: the Okavango River Commission must meet development needs upstream while protecting water quality downstream. Credit:  Wikicommons

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Developing a Pristine River: The Okavango Basin

The welcome end to wars in the upper reaches of the Okavango River brings new pressures for development and the risk of unwelcome changes to the health of the river. A joint commission to manage the basin is developing tools to avoid this.

Tomato picking at GR8 Industries farm. Credit:  Alma Balopi/IPS

Greater Support Needed For Botswana’s Women Farmers

On the outskirts of Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, Charity Molefhi is learning the ropes of the horticulture industry.



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