Estate Construction extends a hand to the albinism community
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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

In its continued quest of helping Batswana, a wholly citizen owned company, Estate Construction has entered into a fruitful relationship with Albinism Society of Botswana (ASB).  The partnership has been kickstarted with the sponsorship of Albinism Society of Botswana’s digital platforms that were launched this week.  

Speaking at the launch of the digital platforms, Estate Construction’s Contracts Manager, Maynard Kandaya confirmed their commitment as a local company in contributing to the socio-economic lives of Batswana. He stated that such gestures also remind them of who they are and what they stand for as an organization, firmly affirming their noble role in the private sector of the economy.

“We must remember that Government’s role is essentially to provide a conducive environment for the private sector to exist and meet the needs of Batswana and cannot do everything alone”, reiterated Kandaya.

In acknowledging the noble gesture by Estate Construction, the different speakers at the event repeatedly spoke of how albinism was misunderstood as a medical condition and that the different myths about it hindered tailor making programmes for the albinism community as they are put in one blanket of People Living with Disabilities. Patron of Albinism Society of Botswana,Mr Nonofo Molefhi, pleaded with those in attendance to assist them in promoting understanding of albinism and also to demystify the myths around albinism and further stated that such understanding will assist in creating well targeted programmes for people living with albinism.  

“Hopefully in the upcoming census, we can identify people living with albinism in every district so we can use that information for profiling and in our programming to tailor make programs for them,” stated Molefhi. 

Human Rights lawyer, Advocate Duma Gideon Boko, did not miss words in decrying the plight of people living with albinism and their exclusion from the mainstream society. He noted that they are wrongly categorized as people living with disabilities only because they also do not know where they belong. Boko further reminded those in attendance that signing or ratifying conventions is seemingly brandish if such conventions are not incorporated or domesticated into laws of Botswana to address the real issues on the ground.

Oscar Gaselabone from Office of the Ombudsman, also dismissed categorizing of people with albinism as living with disabilities. He said, the albinism community are a vulnerable group but definitely not living with disabilities because they are able bodied people. He added that their presence in the digital space through their newly launched platforms should go a long way in having a greater voice. 

Deputy Ambassador of the European Union, Silvia Bopp-Hamroueni stressed that unfortunately myths and superstitions around albinism still exist in Botswana and that such misinformation hinders tackling important issues that people living with albinism continue to grapple with such as access to health care for their condition as their medical needs are not easily accessible and prove to be costly. Albinism Society of Botswana is currently appealing for donations for sunscreens.

Botswana Government recently acceded to the Convention of Rights of People Living with disabilities and parliament revised the National Policy on Care for People With Disabilities of 1996.

Throughout its 27 years of existence, Estate Construction has given back in the communities they had projects in either in offering their machinery for free for use in various community projects, donating football kits or paying school fees for tertiary students. One of the company’s flagship projects, is the 3 year Graduate Programme that upskills fresh from tertiary graduates to market ready professionals. The current intake of 2021 of 28 graduates comprises of occupational health and safety officers and engineers who have been posted in the different construction sites with ongoing projects, that Estate Construction is currently busy with.