Botswana: North East District Council

Date: May 31, 2018
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North East District Council (NEDC) is located in Masunga village; which is the headquarters and the major service point for the district. Its offices are in the central area of Masunga village and are located within the Rural Administration Centre (RAC) complex. The district has one functional service centre located in the village of Tati Siding.

The gender champion for North East District Council is Hon Mpetsane, who is also the chairperson of the council and the gender focal person is Rosinah Maoba. The council has two specially elected council women and one councillor woman selected through electoral process. Women make 60% of the overall staff of the council and 52 % of the management staff.

North East District Council has a gender action plan that was updated in April 2017 to include the SDGs and the SADC Gender Protocol. The action plan has been presented to the council management is under implementation. The council has a well-established gender committee with representative from S &CD, audit department and administration. A District Gender Committee has representation from BOCCAIP, District Commissioner and Peace Corps.

The council has 19 personnel in management and women make up 52% of them. The economic department of the council is made up of women only while 75% of the treasury is also women and headed by a woman. The head of the Audit Department is a woman as well as the Chief Physical Planner and the Senior Architect of the council. The council has among men, one heavy-duty vehicle driver.

North East District Council has a feeding hour policy for lactating mothers as well as flexi time policy for female employees with children under the age of 5. The council gave a P30 000 grant to CBO/NGO centers to encourage their sustainability and operates a day care center in Masunga which caters for the community and council staff at affordable rates.

The council has 24 newly built market stalls at Jackalas No.1 village .It resolved to award 6 of the stalls to vulnerable groups i.e. 2 young people, 2 beneficiaries of PEP, 2 People living with disability. 12 stalls were awarded to women who had been vending from shacks and the 6 stalls left, were publicly advertised. The council has thus far provided funding, training and monitoring for 2 rehabilitation projects, 12 community projects and 227 poverty eradication projects

North East District Council gender budget for the 2017 to 2018.

Category Budget 2017 Budget 2018
Resources allocated to promoting gender equality in decision-making and public participation $120 000 $90 000
Resources allocated to promoting gender equality/family friendly/ youth and disability friendly policies and practices $120 000 $100 000
Resources allocated to gender-responsive local economic development $120 000 $660 000
Resources allocated to promoting gender/youth/PWD responsive projects on climate change $0 $0


Projects from North East Districts council

The council also has an annual orphan and vulnerable children care budget through which it makes provision for interventions aimed at child protection and ending violence against children. 10% of the said   budget goes to psychosocial support to fund retreats for children, life skills training, and GBV awareness for children.

In the year 2017/2018, 97% of the beneficiaries of the poverty eradication programme were women. The council has an affirmative action policy that requires that 35% of all quotations given out by council to be awarded to vulnerable groups (Women, Youth and PLWD).On issues of climate change and sustainable development, the council allows for 2% waste reclaim from its landfill in Masunga. The opportunity is open to all members of the community in fact one of the rehabilitation program beneficiaries uses waste paper to make paper mache products. The council is in the process of completing the construction of 47 houses to be used as destitute shelter for the year 2017/2018.60% of the beneficiaries to the housing are women. The council offers funding assistance for housing to the community under SHHA program, where for the year 2017/18 56 % of the beneficiaries are women. Under the SHHA program, the council is running 2 brick molding projects and housing initiatives in Tsamaya and Moroka where beneficiaries are employed, paid monthly and assisted to build their own houses.

In its effort for prevention and awareness, the council commemorates the 16 days of activism against GBV annually and conducts sensitization workshops and Kgotla meetings. The council invites the police as members Gender committee and consultative forums they share statistics on GBV and related issues. The S & CD reports monthly to council management and Health and Social Committee on cases affecting women and children .The council also provides social services, such as counselling and safe environment for survivors.

One of the challenges faced by the council is that some of the gender committee members are unable to attend meetings due to other official commitments and transfers. Information is also often not availed to the focal person by departments for instance important forums like COMT have not been availed to the focal person, which is why departments are lagging behind in gender mainstreaming. There is also lacking cohesion in the implementation of projects aimed at creating awareness by the council and NGOs as each entity carries out an intervention in isolation. A simple solution to the challenges could be the revival of the district gender committee.

The entrepreneurial workshop conducted by Gender Links led to the innovation of using the participants in the council’s first ever GBV survivors workshop using journey of life methodology. The gender committee l has also learnt that there are councilors with a passion for gender work and the committee should seek their support to influence decisions. The committee also believes that identifying and involving motivated individuals within the council and district could help push the committee’s gender objectives

Councils need to work together and share best practices. In the past North East assisted Tutume sub district and Francistown city council to prepare for the summit. To push the NEDC action plan, the focal person has ensured that GBV and governance are included in the Performance development plans of S&CD staff.  Staff have to conduct four meetings each year with their   communities on gender equality, this will increase number of women voted into executive of committees at community level. Before training or the implementation of any intervention, the council makes a budget and asses the resources it has, to ensure that whenever an open call is made for individuals to sign up for training, the council has enough resources to carry out the intervention.

Click here to read more about the North East District Council.

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