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Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Poverty Eradication-A Priority
Poverty Eradication intiatives to improve the livehoods of Batswana

Recent statistics that 30% of Batswana are living be­low the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) is a major concern to the Ministry of Local Government as a key player in poverty eradication initiatives. Thus government has in­troduced poverty eradication meas­ures to improve the livelihoods and enhance self sustenance.

“Poverty eradication pro­grammes remains a priority area for government in as far as NDP10 is concerned and even beyond, stated Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr. Molefhi Keaja. He was addressing a Poverty eradication forum for Chief Community Development Officers and Programme Officers yesterday in Gaborone. Mr. Keaja emphasized the crucial role played by The Peoples Ministry and Local authori­ties in their relentless effort to eradi­cate poverty, saying “it is upon us, as the ministry and drivers of these programmes to ensure complete eradication of poverty among the citizenry”.

Two key components of the ini­tiatives are backyard gardens and micro and small enterprises. Accord­ing to Chief Community Develop­ment Officer, Ms Delic Sehunwe “the two seeks to improve food security and empower the disadvantaged individuals by engaging them in economic activities thus generating employment opportunities”.

Backyard gardening which start­ed in April 2010 involve provision of basic infrastructure, skill devel­opment for beneficiaries and small scale production through backyard vegetables. The beneficiaries are provided with irrigation systems, seeds, fertilizers and garden tools. The alternative packages include production activities that are con­ducted in residential places such as manufacturing, services, agricultural activities etc.

Mr. Keaja added that through the districts, the Ministry seeks to mo­bilize and identify all eligible ben­eficiaries by social welfare officers, community development officers, VDCs and other local leaders.

“We also have to ensure the im­plementation of packages as well as monitoring of progress for the ben­efit of beneficiaries. The marketing of their products through market days and Kgotla meetings as well as co-training of the beneficiaries with other key partners also falls within our ministry, he said. He further im­plored the officers as drivers of these programmes to be steadfast in their work for the success of these good initiatives.

The Director of Social services, Mr. Loeto Dilampi emphasized the importance of the interactive meet­ing on the progression of these pro­grammes and urged the participants to continue with them despite lack of resources and other challenges.

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