Monitoring mentoring key towards sustainability

28 Nov 2023

Remote area communities continue to be most affected by poverty and are becoming dependent on welfare support from government.

 In an attempt to address the issue, the government introduced initiatives which made a big difference in the lives of such communities as some beneficiaries have so far graduated. 

One such initiative is the poverty eradication programme, whose long-term goal was to eradicate poverty through empowering communities to be viable agents of their own development so that they could contribute to the growth of the economy. 

Other initiatives include Constituency Community Projects (CCP), which were meant to support communities to engage in income generating projects and to create sustainable job opportunities. 

Through the initiative, communities come up with projects to create employment and uplift their constituencies’ status. 

Despite the initiatives, it has been reported that some community projects were struggling, while some had completely collapsed due to lack of commitment from beneficiaries, lack of market, while some projects were not forthcoming due to slow implementation by the relevant authorities. 

Dimajwe in the Serowe District, is one of the affected villages as its community projects are reportedly at a standstill. 

The village was blessed with successful projects such as bakery and a horticulture project through the Poverty Eradication Programme (PEP).  But now the bakery is closed while the horticulture project is reported to be dying a slow death. 

One of the beneficiaries, Ms Ntshegetsang Kgosiemang pleaded with poverty eradication implementers to ensure that poverty eradication beneficiaries were closely mentored to ensure sustainability of their projects.

 In an interview recently, Ms Kgosiemang said most beneficiaries were illiterate, therefore they needed intense mentorship on how best they could operate their projects. 

She said it had surfaced that there was lack of project commitment from some beneficiaries, something which resulted in the collapse of the projects. 

Ms Kgosiemang said government officials needed to encourage poverty eradication beneficiaries to refrain from neglecting their projects as doing so defeats government’s efforts to empower the communities in making them self-sustainable. 

She said the government is committed to eradicating poverty, therefore it is equally important for beneficiaries to invest their attention towards the success of their projects. 

“Some beneficiaries leave their projects unattended for easy income generating means something that calls for some intervention from government officials to motivate the beneficiaries on the importance of project management,” Ms Kgosiemang said. 

The success story of the projects, she said, entirely depended on creation of a good rapport between the beneficiaries and government officials. 

Ms Kgosiemang said it was important for beneficiaries to be encouraged to cultivate sustainable markets for their produce. 

Ms Kgosiemang was assisted with a big bakery pot in 2016 but the pot was erected at the VDC market place, which was far from the customers. 

She said they were also required to pay rent even though there was no market in Dimajwe. 

She said the pot was not used even today but they have requested the relevant authorities to assist to change the projects, but nothing was forthcoming. 

She said she was forced to partner with another lady without her consent. 

Ms Kgosiemang requested to be assisted with simple pots, which she can used at her home. 

In an interview, Kgosi Kebadiretse Kebonemang confirmed that community projects were struggling despite their efforts to engage the relevant authorities. 

Kgosi Kebonemang explained that since the CCP inception, the community has benefited as expected because of good implementation by relevant authorities but poverty eradication projects are not doing well. 

He decried poor monitoring by the relevant authorities, adding that some projects were slowly collapsing, with some beneficiaries having given up. 

He said the project which troubles the leadership was the bakery, which could have supplied the community and the primary school with bread was excelling when it started but has unfortunately completely collapsed. 

He said he appreciated that the council made efforts to assist poverty eradication projects as it took a decision that some of the projects such as bakeries, catering services, those in tailoring and designing should supply schools within their localities with bread and uniforms, while catering services serve council workshops, meetings and seminars. 

He appealed to officials to up their game and ensure all community projects benefit the communities as intended. 

He also called for proper monitoring and supervision of projects as well as timely implementation of projects. 

Kgosi Kebonemang said their expectation was to see such projects reviving the spirit of self-reliance and reducing dependence on government assistance. 

Village Development Committee members concurred that community projects were experiencing challenges, citing the bakery, which they said has been closed temporarily as the beneficiaries had misunderstandings. 

They said the social worker was working around the clock to address the issue amicably and the bakery would hopefully re-open. 

They said the horticulture project was also not doing well but hoped that it would resurrect if the beneficiaries show commitment and find a good market locally.  Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Tshiamiso Mosetlha

Location : Dimajwe

Event : Interview

Date : 28 Nov 2023