Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in the Okavango that received funding through the Small Grants Programme (SGP) last year recently underwent induction following their first grant disbursement.
The CBOs include Okavango Community Trust which was granted P547 000 to focus on facilitating a cultural village and a herbarium mainly for medical research in Eretsha, Teematsha Community Trust which was funded to the tune of P549 000 to be used for fish processing at Mohembo village and Matute a Mongongo Cooperative Society which received P553 000 to process Mongongo nut products.
Okavango Jakotsha Community Trust got P298 000 for their project which is mainly to venture into photographic tourism and unblocking of water channels in the Okavango River in NG 24.
Small Grants Programme Assistant Kefentse Mogwera explained that after receiving the grants, beneficiaries are offered training on project implementation such as entrepreneurship, procurement and financial management, progress reporting, record keeping as well as monitoring and evaluation amongst others to capacitate to carry out their projects diligently.
“Training was previously offered after they were offered the grants but we have decided to re-induct them because it took a while before the first grant disbursement,” Mogwera told this publication.
Mogwera explained that this was done to re-equip beneficiaries with management and project implementation skills they were taught last year October.
Meanwhile Mogwera has revealed that they have also conducted a sensitization workshop for SGP potential beneficiaries in the Panhandle about the ongoing Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation (COMPACT) call for proposals.
He noted that the overall purpose of the sensitization workshop is to enhance innovative initiatives that address environmental engagement and poverty reduction in the panhandle as per the Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation requirement.
The COMPACT model is part of the UNESCO initiative engaging local communities in the conservation and management of World Heritage Sites in Africa.
The model was launched last year October in Shakawe where SGP beneficiaries were also awarded their grants. The beneficiaries also received an intensive induction for project implementation.
“COMPACT priority areas are among the increasing diversification and improving sustainable livelihoods opportunities for local communities, achieving effective management of the panhandle of the Okavango and increasing stakeholder’s capacity and skills to use the Panhandle’s natural resources wisely,” Mogwera explained.