Ex Blue Okavango ends


The recent SADC humanitarian aid exercise Blue Okavango in Botswana saw airlifts of more than 150 tons of food by regional air forces.

The nine SADC member states taking part in the exercise were all based at Maun in Ngamiland and saw 1,000 participants from air forces/arms/wings.

Mmegionline reports two Botswana Air Force AS350 helicopters and a Bell 212 were in the vanguard of humanitarian aid delivery along with SA Air Force Agusta A-109s and Orxyes, Alouettes from Namibia and a Z-9 from Zambia.

The Botswana publication reports the airlift was the largest yet conducted in this area of the country.

Briefing the media in Maun during the exercise Colonel Mothibedi Edwin, base commander: air services at Shakawe operating base, said more than 8,000 people living in 12 villages would benefit from the airlift which included sorghum, beans, cooking oil and milk.

The exercise was timed to coincide with flooding in the Okavango delta, but this year the rains did not come and a scenario had to be created for the exercise.

This saw the fictitious Hikwa tribe brought into being. They, according to Edwin, terrorise the entire Ngamiland area, displacing anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the religious beliefs leading to a humanitarian crisis. The fictitious country from which the tribe originates is called Makgobokgobo and it is headquartered in Maun, which serves as operating base for distribution to all the centres. As part of this imagined disaster Gaborone is a strategic base where humanitarian goods are sourced to Maun which is the operating base and further to distributing bases in Gumare and Shakawe.