Namibia: Ministry Renovates Shelters for Abused Women

THE Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare has proposing entering partnerships with non-governmental organisations and town councils to operate shelters for gender-based violence victims countrywide.

The only fully operational shelter is Friendly Haven Shelter - which houses abused women and children in the Khomas region, and as a result of the success of this shelter, the ministry is considering similar partnerships.

The shelter is run by a group of women from different church denominations and is subsidised by the ministry.

The ministry completed the renovations to seven shelters in the 2018/19 financial year, but only Friendly Haven is open while five others used in emergency cases.

The five are located in Opuwo, Eenhana, Outapi, Rundu and Keetmanshoop.

Deputy minister Lucia Witbooi said the centres were not operational as yet because of personnel shortage, but the ministry is still working towards making them operational.

"The ministry is now exploring entering into partnerships with NGOs and or town councils to open the shelters and the ministry also provides financial support to some private shelters for them to accommodate GBV survivors," Witbooi said.

The ministry has just completed the standard operating procedures on shelters, which outlines how they should operate.

It also outlines the type of structures for the facilities, the budget and all the necessary mechanisms required to implement it.

In the 2017/18 financial year, the ministry underspent by N$30,8 million from its N$1,29 billion budget, according to auditor-general Junias Kandjeke's report tabled in the National Assembly recently.

The ministry underused N$10 million in the administration division, under which the capital projects are listed. However, many of the projects were left half-completed due to the lack of logistics and administration, Kandjeke said in the report.

The majority of the underused funds on the capital budget were mainly on the construction and renovation of shelters due to the fact that renovations could not be completed as planned and this meant that invoices could not be paid before the end of 2017/2018 financial year.

The projects were subsequently carried into the 2018/19 financial year.

- Nampa

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