Summit 2019: Lobatse Town Council

Date: July 9, 2019
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The Lobatse Town Council Gender champion is Mr Oganne Gontse who is the Deputy Town Clerk and its gender focal person is Mr Gerald Mahumba. Honourable Councillor Tiny Dinoko is the council’s woman commissioner.Lobatse Town Council doesn’t have a gender policy but gender mainstreaming activities are guided by government policies, acts and guidelines such as the National Policy on Gender and Development. The council does however have a gender action plan that incorporates the Post -2015 SADC Gender Protocol and the SDGs. The progress of the action plan is reported at council management meetings and full council.

The town’s councillors consists of 9 men and 4 women.44% of the council management are women. Women have also taken up leadership roles such as the current Mayor of the of town and the Town clerk, who are both women. Women occupy 62 % of Ward Development Committees and also constitute 18% the committee’s chairmanship. Women, youth, and PWDs participated in the community-led socioeconomic data collection for evidenced based planning.Employees at the council are sensitized on issues of Gender Based Violence.The council provides ‘She-Bins’ in the ladies’ rest rooms and the councils facilities has ramps to ensure access of PWDs. The council’s receptionist is visually impaired and is provided with braille materials to help her carry out her daily tasks.

Local Economic Development-Through the Poverty Eradication Programme, the council has economically empowered 173 females and 33 males. The council hosts Market Days and Women Expos’ to expose its beneficiaries to potential customers. The council solicited the Women’s Finance House Botswana, to sensitize the Lobatse Community on their services and how they can access financing. Lobatse Town cancel has 36 market stalls 56% of which are allocated to women. All residents of Lobatse are given equal opportunityy to use open spaces for trading.53.19% of development project tenders were awarded to youth owned companies. In terms of Supplies Quotations, 42 % of them were awarded to youth and 26.9 % to women.

Climate Change and Sustainable Development-The council’s efforts in pursuance of climate change mitigation include enforcing best waste management practices and sensitizing communities on environmental management. Council has trained women on waste recycling into products that could be sold to improve their livelihood. The council has also erected solar streets lights to promote the use of renewable energy. In terms of adaptation and building resilience, the council provides basic shelter to the vulnerable like OVCs, PWDs, Destitute person and provides them with a disability allowance.

Infrastructure and Social Development-The council has allocated housing to 146 men ,178 women and 3 to PWDs. Provision of social safety nets to Orphans, Vulnerable children, Destitute person, Needy students, People living with Disability.60 beneficiaries have been assessed and enrolled in social safety nets (19 orphans, 1 CHBC, 18 needy students, 16 destitute persons and 6 CNC). The council has also assisted 270 beneficiaries with clothing i.e. 246 orphans’ and 24 CHBC.

Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV & AIDS-Lobatse town council provides toiletry and psycho-social to OVC’s, PWDs and children who have been sexually abused. The council organizes health talks to promote good health practices amongst the council employees and the community. It also provides capacity building for the Gender Committee and the Wellness Committee.

Ending Violence-Council has carried out various activities towards ending violence. These include hosting commemoration events for International Women’s Day, the 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence, Disability Day, AIDS Day and International Day of the Family. The council provides security services during the day in all primary schools. It also collaborates with stakeholders to refer abused children, youth and women to places of safety. They Lobatse town council has facilitated the Formation of the GBV Survivors Support Group.

Communication and Visibility-Posters on Gender and GBV are put u in the council’s premises to sensitize the public and employees. The council has a new letter and also uses social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to disseminate information.

Gender Management System-The council has a functional gender committee with representatives from the different departments, whose actions are guided by the gender action plan. Committee has a gender mainstreaming coordinator who coordinates all mainstreaming efforts. The coordinator reports to council management and the gender committee members are reviewed on performance against the gender activity plan (included in their PDP).

Resource Allocation-The council has a budget for the gender agenda. The overall budget for gender for the gender agenda has increased in 2019. Resources allocated for the processes around gender mainstreaming for 2019 amount to P280,780. Resources allocated to gender responsive mainstream activities for 2019 amount   to P98, 000.00

Challenge-One of the challenges faced by the gender committee is changing the mind-set of people towards gender and development. The committee also faces lacking continuation of projects due to staff transfers.

Lessons Learned and Innovation-Local authorities remain key in driving gender and development interventions, and they should be supported and their efforts acknowledged nationally.

Sustainability and Replication-The gender committee believes its efforts can be sustained through continuous capacity building of key stakeholders and lobbying for political support, so that they can appreciate what gender mainstreaming is. The committee’s work can be cascaded through bench marking exercises.

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