In its endeavor to improve its ability to listen to the heartbeat of the earth, and monitor the seismic events in Botswana effectively, Botswana Geoscience Institute, has unveiled its plans to establish a Botswana Seismological Research Bureau. This initiative is in addition to the completion of the installation of twenty-one (21) real-time Seismic Monitoring stations across the country with a spacing of approximately 200km apart.
Speaking during the stakeholder meeting in Gaborone recently, Mr Botepe (in charge of Geohazards Monitoring), revealed that, Botswana has an obligation to step up its ability to monitor seismic activities as failure to do so can have catastrophic consequences. He indicated that, although earthquakes cannot be predicted, it is imperative for every country to monitor them as they happened and advise the communities accordingly on safety response measures.
Mr. Botepe indicated that, Botswana needs to get more intelligent especially with the learnings from upper East African Rift System – EARS. Earthquakes cannot be avoided, but disasters can be prevented or mitigated, he added.
In light of the above, BGI has decided to create the Seismology Research Centre and thereby establishing a dedicated Seismology Research bureau that will give seismic studies the attention they deserve. This will involve the compilation of, and archive credible data on seismicity in Botswana for posterity for trends analyses; avail systematic site-specific micro-zoned seismic hazard assessment for prediction of ground shaking intensity, establishment of a robust National Data Centre (NDC) and to promote focused research on seismology in Botswana.
The Centre will also amplify the implementation of the BGI Mandate and compliance to the Sendai Framework on Disaster Management, amongst other things.
The consultative workshop, attracted various players who require this information from, building services, mining and academia.