Namibia: The Mariental Municipality Embark on ‘Lets use our resources wisely project’

Date: August 23, 2018
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Council accept and adopted the COE concept and sign memorandum of understanding. Councillors as politicians are supporting the staff for gender mainstreaming in local authority. Councillors, staff and community trained in all stages. The aim is to get people to realize how important their care for Mother Nature truly is, and what can be done to support the climate balancing factors including biodiversity. To create clean and healthy future for us and our children, to help those ones whose future needs to be supported, and attract investors to town.

Key objectives of this particular project is Tree planting, because as trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees provide cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities Recycling has numerous environmental benefits.

Furthermore,  it saves energy, conserves natural resources, limits pollution, and supports several sectors of the economy. It reduces climate change by adding further to greenhouse gas saving. Establishment of up to standard and reliable recycling plant owned by community. Annual distribution of trees to community with assistance of Ministry of Environment. Cleaning campaign involving the community will remain an annual event to keep town clean.

The main activities are:

  • Exhibition Soccer Match.
  • Tree Planting.
  • Town Cleaning.

The project has benefited about 1 500 women with 800 active groups. The project reaches 1 500 indirect beneficiaries.

The Mariental Municipality allocated $1 484 to this project. In kind contributions amounted to $371. The total budget for the project is $18 55.

The school has a strong monitoring tool as all of the school will receive dust bins with different colours for collecting of refuse as indicated. Council will conduct monthly inspections and the coloured bins will systematically provided to community in suburbs to measure the level of understanding.

The challenges face by this project is that the first day of the campaign, community members did not turn up in huge numbers as expected. Lack of information may have contributed to the above. The Council then engage Ministry of Information and Technology to broadcast the campaign through print and electronic media to broadcast the event to the broader community. This has increased the number of community members significantly on day two of the campaign.

Women and especially girls will better understand the causes and effects of climate change, these young girls will spread the message to women at home and friends that was unable to attend the meetings. Women in rural areas depend form fire wood to provide food for families, after these project people will plant more trees and will find alternative cooking methods in order to prevent deforestation. People will keep the environment clean and will start recycling projects.

The backyard gardening will assist me to provide fresh and sufficient food for my family, and I will save money for paying of municipal bills. Fresh foot and vegetables will keep the family healthy and money spend on doctors will go to other necessities. This small project will bring food security to our region and other women will replicate the project.

Men are eager to allow and at some points accompany wife’s to community meetings. The following men’s groups has been establish.

Coalition On Responsible Drinking (CORD) This coalition consist of men who use to abuse alcohol and was rehabilitated through attending gathering and educational talks conducted. Men for Change After participating in the campaign and workshop, men has establish this group to stand up and promote gender equality.

As a local authority officer, this workshop is an eye opener and very educative. Definitely I will take the knowledge gained here to the community that I am serving to improve their living conditions. I will encourage women to break the silence and talk openly about Gender Based Violence. We need to strengthen treatment and care for survivors of Gender Based Violence and police officers and nurses need special training to take care of Gender Based Violence survivors.

Mr Timotheus Kamure is a truck driver for Council. (Sitting in front) He said in the past he regard sweeping and washing of clothes at home was meant only for women, but after taking part in Gender mainstreaming activities of council his believes and thinking change. He said that he is helping his wife at home with taking care of house core, during the cleaning campaign he volunteered to work with women and clean the streets. After this gender equality training and cleaning campaign I will start talking to my peers to allow our wife’s to be part of meetings discussing issues affecting community.

Mr Imms Reynecke is a blind man, but he shows his willingness to assist in keeping town clean. He said that only clean town with conducive business environment can attract more investors that will create jobs and improve the living conditions of the community. He believes that if men and women can take hands and support each other than the escalating Gender Based Violence cases will reduce.

People has started to build toilet structures to avoid going to bushes, by so doing the underground water won’t become polluted. The campaign make council to realize the importance of drafting and adopting of Wellness Policy and Workplace Programme.

Mariental Municipality has completed all the stages and it will be in best position to play a mentoring role to it’s local authorities in Hardap Region that has joined the Center Of Excellence process recently. Community members who own land can start with back yard gardening and save money spend on groceries. After selling fruits and vegetables form their garden they will be able to pay for services provided. Gardening will keep the town green and even attract more investors.

This is a sustainable initiative because it really changes the organisation and make women’s voice to be heard. It also encourages partnership and through partnership the process will definitely be sustainable. The interventions are aiming at ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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