Institutional profile-Likila Council COE

Institutional profile-Likila Council COE

Date: July 26, 2013
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We do not think that there is another COE council that has done a lot of work on gender like us, all we talk about is gender in the local government” -councillors from Likila

“Our first score was 38%, all we felt was shame and from that moment on, we as a council decided that the Gender Protocol is our new best friend.”*

Likila community council is located at 21 km into the northern part of Botha-Bothe District. The council has estimated population of 19 408 people living in 13 electoral divisions which are made up from a total of 114 villages. The council’s office in Khukhune village sits in the beautiful mining area. In 2010 Likila became a centre of Excellence for Gender in Local Government. It has been 2 years since the relationship with GL started, Likila shows significant progress in the latest score of 78% from a mere 38% when the score card was first administered.

When the council started with the COE process the councillors were blind to gender mainstreaming. To date the council has worked very hard to mainstream gender in their policies and overall council and community activities. Both women and men participate equally in the council and during council meetings all decisions taken are on the basis of issues that affect both men and women.

Women who represent 63% of the councillors compared to men at 37% representation in the council are more dominant during council meetings to an extent that the chairperson and the deputy are both women with men chairing 2 out of the 3 committees at the council. At Likila both men and women participate equally at council meetings and each councillor has a fair chance to voice their concerns.

Under the Basotho law women could not apply for land and title deeds without the permission of their husbands now the council encourages women to apply for land and housing nor sign documentation without the presence of their husbands. Since the use of the SADC Gender Protocol the ministry and the councils have seen that this hindrance in women’s lives causes nothing but feud and leaves many widows destitute after the passing of their spouses as families would take over the property and all its belongings leading the women to poverty and one of the ways to alleviate poverty is through informal trade.

The council of Likila possess ideas and strategies to implement Local Economic Development projects however there are currently no projects in place to assist the community to sustain them.

The council of Likila has a policy on climate change which outlines the challenges and the plans that the council have in place to combat climate change. Some of the activities include rangeland management, water dialogues where the community meet and are given a platform to discuss concerns around the protected dams, rivers and the communal taps. Another project that the council has undertaken involves recycling water by each and every household in the Likila district. Used water is poured into a pot and this is used to water crops and plants. When it rains the pot is left open so that the rain water can also be stored for future use.

Even though the council has tried to work hard there are challenges that they face in terms of the budget. The council is not able to make their own budget as it is done from the district level and as a result the council is unable to put aside money for some of their activities especially where gender is concerned.

Having no street lights and limited recreational facilities poses a threat where levels of GBV are concerned. Residents and councillors do not feel safe; this is a problem that needs a discussion at national level.

The hardest challenge faced with during verification was the lack of photographic evidence as well as not nearly enough documentation. The process has made the councillors understand that cameras, books and notepads are important when you want to make a change in the lives people; it allows one to be able to point out the evidence.

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