BGI is responsible for and has broad expertise to undertake assessments mechanical properties of soil and rocks to determine their behaviours under different conditions. This will inform the stability and integrity of infrastructure, dams, road construction and mines.
Geohazard events such as sinkholes, ground fissures, ground settlement caused by geological processes and human activities bring severe threats to human lives, infrastructure and natural environment.
Although there are no incidents of catastrophic nature to date in Botswana, leading to loss of lives, there are indications that Botswana is at risk of geohazardous events. Ground fissures have been observed along roads such as Letlhakeng, Morwamosu, Hatsalatladi and Boatle –Mankgodi. Fissures have also been observed on virgin, uninhabited areas in Kgwakgwe near Kanye and Moshaneng areas.
The town of Lobatse is also inundated with such geological features because of its soils and structural and geological setting. This is because the town is located in a carbonaceous or karstic environment that is prone to the formation of caves as well as expansive soils. There is therefore need for BGI being the custodian of geo-information and an advisory body with respect to geohazards to conduct a countrywide investigation and mapping of geohazards particularly land subsidence throughout Botswana.