Shakawe — Members of community based organisations (CBOs) in the panhandle of the Okavango Delta have been urged to always have their books of accounts audited to avoid mismanagement of funds.
Speaking at a capacity building workshop for CBOs recently, assistant secretary for Okavango Sub-district Council, Mr Losika Kula said audited books would also help monitor how trusts were progressing in terms of generating income.
Mr Kula noted that Okavango was rich in natural resources, therefore trusts in the region should be in the forefront in terms of uplifting the lives of Okavango people by creating employment as well as generating income for the area.
He said CBOs played a crucial role since they were meant to promote conservation of natural resources, while at the same time promoting rural development and improvement of rural lives.
Ms Tachinya Johnson of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks said as per the principles of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), natural resources should have a measurable value to the community.
She also said communities living within the resource should receive higher benefits, hence encouraging trusts to take advantage of that.
Successes of the CBNRM since establishment 30 years ago, Ms Johnson said, included empowerment of communities in the management of natural resources and promotion of sustainable utilisation of natural resources.
Creation of employment opportunities, income generation, development of projects at community level and establishment of legal institutions in the form of trusts, Ms Johnson said were also achieved through CBNRM.
She, however, noted that CBNRM had challenges such as weak institutional framework and weak policy and legislation framework in CBNRM development.
Another challenge, she said, was that of lack of management skills to promote improved benefits from CBNRM projects.
Meanwhile, Kgosi Mutemo Mbambo of Shakawe appealed to members of the community to avoid causing veld fires along the Okavango Delta as the delta was a tourist attraction site.
He also pleaded with Trusts members to take responsibility and teach the community that it was wrong to deliberately cause veld fire along the delta.
Source : BOPA