Botswana: Poverty Eradication Beneficiaries Abandon Projects

Serowe — District Officer Development (DOD) for Central District, Mr Batsile Claude says while they implement projects and programmes aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of Batswana, their efforts are thwarted by some beneficiaries who abandon projects for formal and informal employment.

Giving a report to the on-going Central District full council session recently, Mr Claude said the diverse Poverty Eradication initiative was capable of reducing the poverty levels predominant in the district.

Mr Claude told the councillors that Poverty Eradication programme in the first quarter of 2019 had implemented a total of 1 951 projects in the district while 2 071 beneficiaries had been enrolled in the projects, an improvement from first quarter figures.

He said out of the 1 951 projects, about 1 353 are operational, 494 non-operational, while 104 projects had failed.

He said the department still faced challenges of beneficiaries abandoning projects for formal and informal employment.

Some projects, he said were over-subscribed, thus attracted low sales and demotivated beneficiaries.

Other challenges, he mentioned, was non-availability of training facilities in the district and lack of operational space as well as beneficiaries not willing to work together.

Concerning gender affairs department, Mr Claude told councillors that it had implemented 1 263 projects, 1 057 of which had been fully funded, 25 partially packaged while 152 were awaiting funding.

He further indicated that the department still faced challenges of beneficiaries failing to fully own the projects and keep updated records while others complain about lack of market.

On crop production, he said 1 370 backyard garden projects had been funded to date, adding that out of the number, 567 were operational, 635 non-operational while 167 had collapsed compared to 165 projects in the previous quarter.

He said a total of 11 projects had been funded under conservation farming and no such project was operational as the package was seasonal.

Mr Claude stated that under the leather package, 114 projects had been funded, out of which 105 were operational, eight non-operational and one had failed.

However, the officer reported that under the rabbit production package, 10 projects had been funded and all were operational.

Under the layers package 141 projects were funded out of which 59 were operational, 81 non-operational while one had failed.

Challenges are that beneficiaries fail to restock after the layers reach molting stage.

He further said the district was allocated more than P12.1 million for the financial year 2019/20 to address the Poverty Eradication backlog.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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