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Over 57 % of households in Botswana benefit from social nets programs

An estimated 387, 503 households in Botswana out of 669, 429 receive either one or more safety net packages from Government as a way of cushioning them against either poverty or harsh effects of low income living standards.

This has been revealed by a social safety net statistical brief (stats brief) released by Statistics Botswana this week. The stats brief gives estimates on households that received government transfers in the form of social safety nets, based on data collected in the third quarter of 2019 through the Quarterly Multi-Topic Survey.

The safety nets module was primarily included to give estimates on the number of households that benefited from safety nets and other government programmes. A total of 3, 240 households were sampled, yielding 669, 429 households after weighting.  Households were asked if they have received any assistance from programmes covered under the safety nets module, taking into consideration that one household could receive more than one safety net package.

The results showed that 57.9% (387, 503) of the households received either of the social safety nets packages. Of the recipient households. 55.9% were female headed, while 44.1% were male headed households.  This is consistent with all poverty survey results conducted in the country in the past, which indicated that poverty was more prevalent in female headed households compared to male headed households.

The results further indicated that the school feeding programme covered a larger proportion of households at 41.1%, followed by vulnerable group feeding, old age pension and Ipelegeng at 23.7%, 15.9% and 14.9% respectively, displaying a similar pattern of coverage observed in the Botswana Multi-Topic Household Survey (BMTHS) of 2015/16.

Further data decomposition by domains/strata revealed that social safety nets interventions are dominant in the rural areas as compared to urban villages and cities/towns. Analysis by Statistics Botswana revealed that the proportion of Social Safety Nets (SSN) beneficiaries in rural areas was 68.3%, followed by urban villages and cities/towns at 58.9% and 40% respectively.

The results further showed that the most dominant social safety nets programmes in rural areas include amongst others Rural Area Development Programme (RADP), Poverty Eradication Programme, Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID), Destitute Persons Programme and Ipelegeng at 90.8%, 81.8%, 60.8%, 60.1%, & 58.7% respectively.

The Community home based package, school feeding, vulnerable group feeding and disability package allowance are more prominent in urban villages at 47.7%, 46.7%, 44.2% and 40.1% respectively.

The dominant programmes in cities/towns, although at lower proportions compared to rural areas and urban villages, includes school feeding, disability package allowance, vulnerable group feeding and orphan care programmes at 16.1%, 15.3%, 12.1% and 11.2% respectively.

Analysis of households that benefited from various components of the orphan care programme by strata indicated that from the total number of households that received the orphan care package, the food basket including the toiletries component covered a larger proportion of households at 87.9%, followed by school uniforms, educational support and casual clothing components at 44.1%, 40.8%, and 28.4% respectively.

According to the Social Protection Sector Review (World Bank and BIPDA, 2013), the targeting mechanisms vary for each programme, some programs are universal (orphan care, needy students, school feeding, OAP, Veterans), categorical (VGFP), means-tested (destitute persons, CHBC) and self-selection (Ipelegeng).

Currently Botswana’s safety net packages are School Feeding Program, orphan care program , vulnerable groups feeding program , Ipelegeng , community home based care , destitute persons program , remote area development plan(RADP) amongst others.

With school feeding program, students are provided with breakfast and lunch, according to the Social Protection Sector Review. The students receive a meal equivalent to 1/3 of a child‘s daily nutrition needs and it consists of samp, beans, sorghum meal, beef, stew, vegetables, fruits, tea, and agricultural produce amongst others.

Under the Orphan Care Program, Botswana opted for a narrow definition of orphans as defined in the 1999-2011 Short-term Plan of Action on Care of Orphans which posits that an orphan is a child under 18 years who has lost both parents if they were married, or one parent in the case of single-parent families.

The program was introduced in 1999 and it is one of the largest assistance programs in Botswana designed to respond to the needs of orphaned children such as food, clothing, shelter, education, protection and care. The beneficiaries are not means-tested, as the program is open to all orphaned children.

The Vulnerable Groups Feeding Program (VGFP) was introduced in 1988 with the aim to distribute meals and nutritional supplements to people who are vulnerable to under-nutrition.
The program provides monthly home rations through clinics to vulnerable children aged 6-60 months, pregnant and lactating women, and to tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy patients from poor households. The ration consists of Tsabana, Malutu, beans and sunflower oil.

The Remote Area Development Plan (RADP program was originally financed projects meant to benefit marginalized communities in remote areas. After its evaluation which was approved in 2010, it now focuses on community led developments, creation of sustainable livelihoods systems and an affirmative action program for disadvantaged groups

Destitute Persons Program was established in 1980 with the aim to assist those who have no other source of support. Beneficiaries are means-tested through assessments conducted by social workers. The Village and Ward Development Committees and other local authorities or institutions at times assist in identifying potential beneficiaries prior to these assessments.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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