Phase Two of the SADC Standby Force Regional Logistics Depot in Rasesa village, near Mochudi in the Republic of Botswana, has commenced and involves major construction works namely the designs and construction of all the buildings and supporting infrastructure, SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, has said.
The phase is being implemented in sub phases aimed at attaining the Regional Logistics Depot’s Initial Operational Capability by 2021 and final Full Operational Capability by 2023.
Phase One of the construction of the depot has been completed, having commenced with an Environmental Management Plan that was undertaken in 2015 and approved by Botswana’s Department of Environmental Affairs in 2016. Subsequently SADC Member States raised US$10 million for site preparatory works, involving fencing and bush clearing in 2018 and this was completed in September 2018.
H.E Dr Tax commended the Government of Botswana for providing SADC with 19-hectares of land for the construction. She made the remarks on 21st October 2020 during a familiarisation tour of the Regional Logistics Depot by Honourable Dr. Lemogang Kwape, Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana, and chairperson of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, and Honourable Thomas Kagiso Mmusi, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security of the Republic of Botswana.
Hon. Kwape thanked Dr Tax for the familiarisation tour of the Regional Logistics Depot and pledged commitment and dedication of the Government of Botswana towards ensuring the construction of the logistics depot is finalised and operationalised to ensure peace and stability for the region.
Once finalised, the Regional Logistics Depot will comprise buildings such as office blocks, residential flats, warehouses, workshops, clinic and other amenities. It will also have supporting infrastructure such as roads, sewer, water, electricity, telecommunications and security systems.
The Regional Logistics Depot is part of the SADC Standby Force to support regional peace operations under the African Union Standby Force Policy Framework. Its objective is to facilitate storage of material, equipment and end-user stocks to ensure readily available logistics support when required.
The aim is to provide stocks on a “just in time” basis to meet the rapid deployment capability of the SADC Standby Force to support regional peace operations under the African Standby Force Policy Framework. The Regional Logistics Depot’s function is to undertake peace support and humanitarian missions, and forms a vital component of force readiness.
Hon. Kwape was also accompanied by Rasesa village Chief Mr Letshwenyo Rasesa and other government officials, while the SADC Executive Secretary was accompanied by Director for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Mr Jorge Cardoso, Brigadier General and Chief of Staff, Emmanuel K. Kaputa, Project Manager for Regional Logistics Depot, Engineer Martin John Malongo, and AU-SADC Reforms Expert in the Executive Secretary’s Office, Mr Mukundi Mutasa.