Botswana Global Environmental Change Committee (BGCC) chairperson, Professor Pauline Dube who is also Climate Research for Development in Africa Co-Chair, has donated a consignment of laptops, satellite machines, books and some electrical equipment to the University of Botswana.
The equipment was secured through international activities of the BGCC especially the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5 degrees Global Warming Lead Author meeting held in Botswana in April 2018. BGCC had also secured an amount of P348 000 from WMO to facilitate the meeting and purchase equipment.
In addition, BGCC received a donation of about 81 books following a decision by the international global environmental change science community to transform the International Geosphere- Biosphere Programme (IGBP) in 2015 into the Future Earth Research for Global Sustainability Programme. These books were donated when the IGBP office in Stockholm was closed.
The laptops, worth P38 543.68, are to be used by the Department of Environmental Science to assist with teaching as well as by the BGCC chairperson and secretary. Receiving the donation, Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, said it was a fitting gesture especially as it coincided with the newly approved University of Botswana Strategy: Creating a Future for the Knowledge Generation-2020-2029.
Professor Norris said the laptops would come handy for the virtual mode of teaching and other academic activities given the University had to make sure it met its mandate even at heighten periods of extreme social distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols.
“This hand over includes a Fire Satellite Field Station acquired from the work done under the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) 2010-2013 project under the Department of Meteorological Services and SADC Office,” noted the Vice Chancellor.
Professor Norris added that the satellite station which came with two desktop computers and an antenna mounted at the Department of Environmental Science building, would provide data every 15 minutes from geostationary satellites. “This data allows for monitoring of rapid hazards such as veld fires and floods but also monitoring vegetation and crops,” observed Professor Norris.
He said the Satellite Field Station was truly an assert because it would give UB the opportunity to answer to the needs of government and society at large, at the time when government was seeking to maximize the use of natural resources for self-sufficiency.
Earlier on, Professor Dube gave a background on the establishment of the BGCC that it was in response to climate challenges affecting Botswana. She thanked the UB leadership for embracing the idea when BGCC was established especially the Vice Chancellor then, Professor Thomas Tlou, Professor Ansu Datta and the late Professor Robson Silitshena.