Thursday, August 6, 2020

Councillors up against failing poverty eradication projects

By Basadi Morokotso

 

The Maun Administration Authority (MAA) Sub Council is accused of failing to monitor projects awarded to poverty eradication beneficiaries.

North West District councilors said the excessive climate as well as constant water shortage in the village have also been a hindrance, particularly on those who were awarded agriculture projects.

This has led to some of them abandoning the said projects.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Khwai/Mababe councilor Kebareeditse Ntshogotlho said council is equally to blame because of its failure to ensure beneficiaries are awarded projects that are relevant to their environment.

He also blamed lack of prompt periodic monitoring by those tasked to do so.

“It is high time we think objectively as councilors because currently we are not helping the situation. The truth of the matter is we should take the blame and stop accusing these beneficiaries. They looked up to us as their representatives to see to it that the much needed services are within reach,” said Ntshogotlho.

He added that there has been acute shortage of water of which councilors are well aware.

“And what have we done about it? I personally feel we should be given delegated powers for a possible smooth running of the council because otherwise we will be made to look as failures by some of these government parastatals.” 

He suggested that Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) should be summoned and appear before council to explain why water as a basic commodity cannot be availed to the public.

“This is deliberate sabotage on the part of the authority and its time we stop them”, said the visibly infuriated councilor.

However, in his address at the commencement of the weeklong meeting on Monday, MAA Chairman Gaokgakala Letswee pointed out that the poverty eradication programme in Maun has to date trained 339 beneficiaries in various projects, 183 of which are fully operational. 

He admitted however that there has been a flop which resulted in more than 180 of the awarded projects not operating for various reasons, amongst them the lack of operational spaces and commitment on the side of beneficiaries. 

He said instead of shunning the projects, councilors should take it upon themselves to educate communities on the advantages of maintaining their projects so that they may be able to provide for their families.

“As we speak, some projects have been neglected and we are yet to establish why and how our beneficiaries came to such conclusions. I have been reliably informed that some of them have secured better paying jobs,” said Letswee. 

He added that “while we cannot stop people from acquiring jobs, or leaving for greener pastures, I personally think it would have been wise for them to inform council as the awarding authority, rather than deciding in isolation because at the end of it all, it is our wish to see them graduating from poverty.” 

The sub council chairman admitted nevertheless that the provision of portable water at Sexaxa and surrounding settlements has been insufficient as a result of inadequate storage and distribution network. Other settlements such as Matsaudi, Somelo and Shorobe are yet to benefit from a recent donation of a borehole connected to Somelo village by Khoemacau Copper mine which operates in the same locality. The mine has also availed bowsers that used to supply water in Somelo to be extended to Nxaraga settlement where an additional tank has been erected due to the stretching of the village and the recent arrival of fishermen in the area. 

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