Social Upliftment through Waste Management
Ghanzi District Council

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Ghanzi District is in the Kgalagadi Desert, South West of Botswana. It is unique in that whilst it has a very large geographical distribution it has a very low population. The low population has comparatively resulted in the district getting limited resources. This is because the overriding criterion for resource allocation in the Country is the population size. It is this kind of geographical and demographical setup that makes it a challenge to provide services to the communities in the district as a Local Authority. The lack of development within the villages and settlements in the district also contributes to the high level of unemployment. With no robust industrial activity in the settlements, majority of the population do not have the requisite education to get meaningful jobs elsewhere and therefore depending on the Government Social Welfare programs. Past studies have indicated Ghanzi district as one of the four districts that have high poverty rate as well as high illiteracy rate. Government has introduced social upliftment programs in an effort to promote self reliance in the communities. As a result there is over subscription of projects such as bakeries as there are limited choices of community projects that can be done. We also find ourselves caught between trying to allocate the scare resources across the various services we provide as a Local Authority. Waste management is one particular service that is experiencing challenges as there are not enough vehicles to collect waste around the villages. This created health implications as well due to the risks of uncollected waste.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The solution to this problem was one that sought to tackle the lack of resources needed for waste management and collection. To find alternative community projects for social upliftment. Some members of the community were therefore provided with donkey carts and contracted to collect waste within their settlements.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
This initiative has brought about a cost effective way of managing waste collection around the villages and settlements. Purchasing vehicles is a costly exercise given the financial hardships the Government has felt since the 2008 financial recession. Donkey carts are inexpensive as compared to the cost of vehicles, it was not difficult to provide each village with two donkey carts, and donkeys are available within communities. Using the donkey cart system meant villages were able to be kept clean at all times as there would be no pile up of waste, it also alleviated the problem of people dumping waste at ungazetted spots. The donkey cart initiative also addressed creation of employment in villages, empowering and improving the livelihoods of those engaged. The district has about 1355 registered destitute persons and by engaging them to collect waste they are offered an opportunity to improve their lives and those of their immediate families. Beneficiaries of this initiative have been able to build shelter, buy cattle and goats, provide food, clothing and connect water stand pipes for their families. 258 have been deregistered as destitute persons.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The initiative was creative and innovative as it was employing unconventional means to manage waste in the district. We had to look for ways of improving waste collection in the district without spending a lot of money, on the other hand we were looking for a solution that engaged the community to address the Government priority of employment creation, poverty alleviation and self reliance.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative was implemented the by the Ghanzi District Council through the Work Improvement Team Strategy (WITS). The team members engaged the Department of Social and Community Development in identifying disadvantaged people to engage for the initiative. In total 258 persons were engaged to collect waste where by each village or settlement had 2 person and those with higher population had 3 persons engaged.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Mobilisation of resources was in two fold, through village consultations, we were able to determine what the beneficiaries had in terms of resources. Some had only donkeys, others had donkey carts and some had nothing at all. The Social and Community Development department then procured donkey carts and donkeys to give to beneficiaries as per the needs assessment carried out. The beneficiaries/destitutes lived a very impoverish lifestyle, with no houses but only shelter made of grass and wood, with little food and clothing. They therefore depended on monthly safety-nets packages from the Council. The Social and Community Development department offered an amount of P1, 500 as payment for the waste collection work to each of the beneficiaries on monthly basis. Beneficiaries were advised to use 50% for their daily needs and 50% for investment or development. This is from where beneficiaries managed to build houses, buy food clothing, livestock and connected water stand pipes in their homes. The Local Authority then constructed temporary refuse cages where the beneficiaries would store the collected waste. The Village Development Committees were tasked to monitor the collection of waste by those engaged on daily basis. An officer from the Social and Community Development department makes monthly follow up on the monitoring of waste collection.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The project involved the Social Welfare Officers, Village Development Committees (VDCs), Councillors, Chiefs, tribal leaders and the community. The VDCs and the tribal leaders helped in mobilising their communities to share ideas and information on the proposed initiative. They consulted the communities how the initiative would benefit their community in terms of keeping their surroundings clean and also creating much needed employment for those less privileged in the community. The social welfare officers under the Department Social and Community Development provided the VDCs, tribal leaders and the community with expert advice.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The first results of the initiative was the improvement in the cleanliness of the surroundings of the communities. There was no longer reliance on the Local Authority to come and collect waste as communities had their own waste collectors. This in line with the SDG Goal 11; Make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The inclusiveness of the community in waste management has arose their awareness on proper management of waste resulting in reduced illegal dumping and littering of waste. The second benefit was the graduation of beneficiaries from destitute programs. Beneficiaries of the donkey carts have been able to provide for themselves and their immediate family, some were able to buy livestock as a way of increasing their income generating capabilities whilst some were able to build shelter for themselves. This result is in line with SDG Goal 1; End poverty in all its forms everywhere and SDG Goal 8; Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The third benefit was the reduction in cost to the Local Authority in providing the waste collection service as it is much cheaper to engage the locals. An amount of P316, 920.00 was saved on annual basis from funds that catered for destitute packages. P399, 768.00 was saved annually from funds used for waste collection. Fourthly the initiative brought about social cohesion as the community had to be involved at all levels to promote the initiative. This is in line with SDG Goal 16; Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and built effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Project reactivated Village Health Committees. Two Districts have started to replicate the initiative in their communities. The fifth output is the creation of economic activities and opportunity in the communities. Villagers are able to hire these donkey carts when not on duty as mode of transport for school kids and other various needs.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The most common problem was with the donkeys going astray after being bought and given to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries were encouraged to keep an eye on the donkeys when they go out to graze so that they don’t stray far as they were not yet used to the location. Secondly there was absenteeism happening as some beneficiaries employed would not come and collect waste at the specified times. To address this problem, beneficiaries were informed on the guidelines and were told that punitive measure would be taken against absconders such as deducting on pay for days absent.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The benefits resulting from this initiative were firstly proper and adequate waste management, elimination of littering and illegal dumping resulting in a clean environment for the community. The initiative also gave some community members a chance for employment as they were given five years contract to collect waste. A significant number graduated from destitute program and lived a dignified life. As it is the work of a social officer to make rounds to check on livelihood of the communities, the same persons were visited to motivate and assess level of development they managed to achieve from this imitative.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative did improve integrity and accountability in the public service, the consultations were made with the community to join venture with public service in delivering the waste management service. The employment of the waste collectors was done by the community and therefore accountability was monitored. Monitoring of the work by waste collectors was done at Village level as well as at District level. This imitative saved cost for government.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Though the selection criterion for engagement to collect waste was specific to men within destitute program, however the benefits from this initiative were also enjoyed by women and children within same household of the men engaged. The entire family was provided with food and other needs. Children were provided with clothing and school wear. The donkey carts were also used to transport children who stayed far from school.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ghanzi District Council
Institution Type:   Local Government  
Contact Person:   Vuyo Mbulawa
Title:   To facilitates development & execution of strateg  
Telephone/ Fax:   +267 6595014
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Private Bag 0015
Postal Code:   0000
City:   Ghanzi

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