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SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BOTSWANA

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Since the inception of the first National Development Plan (1968-1973), the Government of Botswana has directed its development efforts to raising the standards of living of Botswana. In line with this objective, the alleviation of poverty and the provision of basic infrastructure and social services have been the fundamental purposes of development policy. Thus, development plans have been guided by the objectives of sustained development, rapid economic growth, economic independence, and social justice. One of the challenges of the current national development plan (NDP 8) is to reduce absolute poverty through increased incomes and employment creation. The planning process is intended to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from the limited financial resources available to Government by prioritizing policies, programmes and projects. The planning also allows Government to set targets against which its performance can be objectively evaluated.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Government Policy is to provide an enabling environment conducive to the growth of the private sector in the urban and rural areas in order to enhance participation. Furthermore, the Government is vigorously pursuing a policy of economic diversification. To further empower the people, a deliberate policy on Human Resources Development has been developed to ensure access to the acquisition of skills that are in demand in the economy. It is realized that government policies have to be matched by timely implementation if they are to be of benefit to the country. Rapid implementation of policies and the creation of an environment conducive to business expansion is emphasized. Over time, policies and programmes are reviewed and evaluated with the goal of improving implementation.

The long-term objective of enabling all people to achieve sustainable livelihoods should provide an integrating factor that allows policies to address issues of development, sustainable resource management, and poverty eradication simultaneously. The objectives of the Government with respect to poverty alleviation are:

  1. to urgently provide all persons with the opportunity to earn a sustainable livelihood;
  2. to implement policies and strategies that promote adequate levels of funding and focus on integrated human development policies, including income generation, increased local control of resources, local institutional-strengthening and capacity-building, and greater involvement of NGOs and local levels of government, as delivery mechanisms; and
  3. to develop integrated strategies and programmes for sound and sustainable management of the environment, resource mobilization, poverty eradication and alleviation, employment and income generation, for all poverty-stricken areas.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

The Government of Botswana has put in place many policies and programmes aimed at poverty alleviation, which are implemented by the different sectors at the national and district levels. Specific programmes aimed at enabling the poor to achieve sustainable livelihoods by improving access to productive resources include targeted schemes, such as:: 

The Government has undertaken an assessment of past and ongoing poverty alleviation programmes and strategies to evaluate the extent to which these have, or have not, had the desired impact. The indications are that some of the programmes have been generally favourable for generating additional employment, and that existing infrastructure and services, particularly for the provision of social services, need to be reoriented to be used and operated more effectively. The Government continues to make provisions for poverty alleviation programmes in the budgeting process. Programmes targeted at the poor and vulnerable are being implemented through various sector initiatives, such as agricultural programmes, and small business development for income generation and employment creation. In all these efforts, the Government provides initial startup capital to developers.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

Poverty remains an issue of concern to the Government, as it is a multidimensional problem. The eradication of poverty and hunger, greater equity in income distribution, and human resources development remain major challenges for the Government. 

Future challenges facing the Republic are many and complex. In order for the standards of living of people to improve over the coming years, real economic growth must be achieved and the rate of population growth must decline. Some of these challenges include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing  

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 9 February 1998.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

In striving to achieve these objectives, the Government has recognized the fundamental inter-relationship between population and development, especially the close and continuous interaction between population growth, on the one hand, and the growth of the economy, poverty alleviation, human resources development, gender equality and empowerment, environmental conservation and sustainable development, on the other. As a consequence, institutional arrangements are established to address these issues effectively. A Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Population and Development, and a National Council on Population and Development together with its Secretariat are in place.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government considers population issues and their economic and social ramifications as priority areas for planning and policy making. During the National Development Plan 8, financial allocations have been made towards population and development programmes. The implementation of these programmes is, however, an ongoing activity carried out through several sectors, such as education, health, housing, agriculture, and so forth. The centerpiece of the Government's development efforts, since the inception of the First National Development Plan (1968-1973), remain that of raising the standards of living of the people of Botswana. In line with this, development plans have been guided by the objectives of sustainable development, rapid economic growth, economic independence, and social justice.

The linkages between population and development is crucial in the formulation of development policies, programmes and projects, especially as people are both agents as well as beneficiaries of development. A population policy together with an implementation plan of action have been developed. The population policy will be presented to Parliament in July 1997 for consideration and adoption. It will provide a clearly defined framework for the integration of population factors into development planning at all levels; and strengthen the direction, cohesion, and coordination of the many intervention efforts undertaken by government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in the area of population and development. The national population policy recognizes the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, as enshrined in the Botswana Constitution. In addition, the Government is currently in the process of developing a national population information, education, and communication strategy to enhance implementation of the policy.

In Botswana, the following objectives are important:

  1. Developing and disseminating knowledge concerning the links between demographic trends and factors and sustainable development;
  2. Formulating integrated national policies for environment and development, taking into account demographic trends and factors;
  3. Implementing integrated, environment and development programmes at the local level, taking into account demographic trends and factors.
  4. To incorporate demographic trends and factors into the global analysis of environment and development issues;
  5. To develop a better understanding of the relationships among demographic dynamics, technology, cultural behaviour, natural resources and life support systems; and 
  6. To assess human vulnerability in ecologically sensitive areas and centres of population to determine the priorities for action at all levels taking full account of community defined needs.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

Access to health services has been enhanced; with populations served being within 15 km of a health facility, increasing from 80% in 1985 to 85% in 1991. However, per capita health expenditure has increased significantly during the period partly due to the sparse population distribution. The goal to provide adequate health care for all is likely to be made more difficult by the prevailing high fertility and attendant young structure of the population coupled with the recent surge in the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Status   

Botswana has a small but rapidly growing population which has more than doubled in size in twenty five years. Between 1971 and 1996, the population increased from 584,644 to 1,495,993. The age structure of the population is youthful, with children under the age of 15 constituting 40.4% of the total population in 1996. Consequently, the proportion of the population in the age group 15-64 increased from 46.9% in 1971 to 56.6% in 1996, while the proportion of the elderly (65 + years) decreased from 5.6% in 1971 to 3.1% in 1996. The proportion of females in the total population has consistently been higher than that of males, although it declined from 54.3% in 1971 to 52.2% in 1991, and to 51.9% in 1996. In both urban and rural areas females predominate, accounting for about 50% in the same years.

Botswana experienced high fertility rates during the 1970s and 1980s. However, there is evidence of a decline thereafter, from 6.5 in 1971 to an estimated 4.23 in 1991. A family health survey which was started in 1996 and scheduled for completion in 1997 will hopefully provide the basis for more information on fertility trends. In the education sector, 90% of the school age population (7-13 years) were in school in 1993. There is almost 100% access from primary to junior secondary education. Between 1981 and 1993, the total literacy rate increased from 34% to 68.9%. Over the same period, the literacy rate for males increased from 32% to 66.9%, while that of females rose from 36% to 70.3%. Given the present rate of population growth, the school age population will grow rapidly and so will the level of resources that will be required to provide additional school places and facilities.

Challenges  

Demographic dynamics of mortality, fertility, and migration have an interrelationship with sustainable development. Population and development issues are evident from the high population growth rate resulting from high fertility. Other concerns are the marked increase in teenage and unplanned pregnancies, high maternal mortality, uneven population distribution, and a deterioration in the environment. The growth of our population and production combined with unsustainable consumption patterns places severe pressure on the life-supporting capacities of the country.

The main challenge for the future is to ensure a balance between economic growth, environmental conservation, and the rate of population growth; and to enhance the quality of life for the people through the various social and economic programmes. The young age structure of the population will continue to persist for several years; due mainly to past high fertility levels and the rapidly improving chances of survival, particularly for infants and children. The future outlook for development shows that the high population growth phenomenon and associated high dependency burden will put considerable pressure on households, communities, and the Government. It will also put considerable pressure on the nation's fragile ecosystem, threaten the Government's ability to continue to improve the delivery of services, and compromise its ability to create and sustain employment. Reduction of population growth will enable the Government to promote growth, to diversify the economy, and to enhance the nations' physical and human capital with a view to alleviating poverty. Despite all these challenges, the HIV/AIDS epidemic remains the main concern for future productivity, employment, and improvement of living standards.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

In terms of indicators, Botswana has achieved remarkable reductions in mortality levels during the 1970s to the 1990s. The crude death rate fell from 13.7 per thousand in 1971 to 11.5 in 1991, and was projected to fall below 10 in 1996; while the infant mortality rate dropped from 97.1 to a projected 41 per thousand live births in 1996. Consequently, life expectancy at birth rose from 55.5 in 1971 to 66 years in 1996. Life expectancy at birth in rural areas rose from 54.9 years to 62.3 years, whilst that of urban areas rose from 54.9 years to 62.3 between 1981 and 1991. The rural areas experienced high gains in life expectancy at birth compared to the urban areas. This was due to increasing social equity and access to health services. On average, women outlived men by about 7 years in 1981 and 3.8 years in 1991. However, maternal mortality remained at a high level, ranging from 200-300 per 100,000 in 1991.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing    

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In Botswana, the major goals of the health sector are set according to Agenda 21. Botswana aimed at reducing deaths due to measles by 95% and reduced measles by 90%, by the year 1995. This target has been achieved. The Government plans to eradicate poliomyelitis by the year 2000. National polio immunization days have been launched whereby polio supplementary immunization activities are undertaken country-wide. The country has been reporting zero polio cases for the last five years. A disease surveillance system capable of detecting cases of acute flaccid paralysis is also in place. In addition, Botswana has, for the past 12 years, maintained an oral polio vaccine III coverage which allowed the country to eradicate poliomyelitis this year, 3 years prior to the established target.

Strategies to eliminate measles and neonatal diseases have been planned and are to run concurrently with polio eradication activities. Health education activities including community sensitization, mobilization, participation, involvement and motivation to address health problems are being carried out. The Government provides portable drinking water coverage throughout the country to rural and major villages, and water hygiene programmes and sanitation disposal (including excreta) are in place but need strengthening. The safe water coverage is over 70%.

Botswana has made significant investments in health infrastructure and services since its independence. The country has made a commitment to provide basic health services. The strategy places emphasis on health infrastructure as well as district health service provision. By 1997, 90% of the population was within a 15 km radius of a health facility in the more densely populated eastern portion of the country, while in the rest the country 66% of the population was within 8 km of a health facility. Variations exist between facilities in terms of distances compared to the more vastly populated eastern part of the country.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information available

Programmes and Projects   

The effective implementation of the code of practice for waste management depends fundamentally on three factors: 

This means effective supervision at all levels. In addition, it is necessary that the appropriate equipment for handling waste, such as trolleys for transporting waste within the hospital and incinerators are always functioning efficiently.

In Botswana, the following areas are significant to human health: 

The health sector in Botswana has expanded significantly since the 1970s in terms of infrastructure and associated requirements for trained manpower. The challenge is to elaborate a clinical and public health package that the Government can offer to all its citizens, and also to provide discretionary services which, as a cost-recovery measure, may not be totally free.

Within the health care sector, the main objectives are financial and system sustainability. The Government's aim is to generate sufficient resources to enable continued and improved provision of health care for a growing population. At the same time, the Government aims at sustainability within the sector for effective functioning over time. Sustainability is central to the planning of Botswana's health system because of the limited resources available for the Government budget, including health.

Programmes and strategies have been put in place to monitor progress and setbacks, and to evaluate their effectiveness. They are monitored, evaluated and re-planned on an ongoing basis. These include, amongst others:

Health services, despite the user contribution, are heavily subsidized in an attempt to improve the overall quality of life of the people. Primary health care programmes that are in place include, amongst others: epidemiology and disease control services; occupational health services; environmental health services; food sciences laboratory services; maternal and child health/family planning services; expanded programme on immunization; food and nutrition; health education services; HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases; oral health services; and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities, as well as curative services.

Status   

Health and development are intimately interconnected. Both insufficient development leading to poverty, and inappropriate development resulting in over consumption, coupled with an expanding world population, can result in severe environmental health problems in both developing and developed nations. Action items under Agenda 21 address the primary health needs of the population, since they are crucial to the achievement of the goals of sustainable development and primary environmental care.

Challenges  

Childhood diarrhea diseases and the number of deaths resulting from diarrhea diseases, as well as acute respiratory infections are being affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic despite the measures in place to address them. Presently, with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Botswana is experiencing a serious resurgence of tuberculosis, which remains the number one killer disease despite intensified interventions to address the problem. This is mainly due to the HIV/AIDS co-infection with pulmonary tuberculosis and experienced drug resistance.

The rapid expansion in the delivery of health services, coupled with rapid population growth rates, have translated into shortages of resources, especially trained health manpower and transportation. The HIV/AIDS epidemic and related diseases, such as tuberculosis are, however, threatening to negatively affect and/or even reverse the achievements that have been made in the health sector. Diseases such as malaria, which were previously not severe in Botswana, are now not only worsening, but are also showing signs of resistance to drugs. In addition, some of the traditional non-malaria areas are experiencing serious malaria outbreaks of late.

The challenge in the health sector remains that of containing the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, together with other associated illnesses, and to sustain what has been achieved in the past given current resources. For the Government some of the heavy investment undertaken in human capital development will be lost through AIDS and there may be negative effects on savings and investment, thus jeopardizing sustainable economic diversification. Providing for the care of the sick and orphans, and maintaining a fair balance in resource allocation between curative and preventative health care, will be a major development challenge to be addressed in the future. There is a need to mobilize additional resources to implement the planned programmes in the health sector.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The implementation of the code of practice has already commenced through addresses to hospital staff, and by mounting a series of workshops to introduce and sensitize staff on concepts of effective medical waste management and its importance. This enhances the safety of those within the hospitals and the public at large. A training programme will be developed to ensure that all staff has been adequately instructed. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of segregating the clinical wastes from the domestic waste, and the use of appropriately labelled and colour coded containers and plastic bags to ensure compliance.

Information   

The Government of the Republic of Botswana remains committed to effectively address environmental health issues and other related concerns. As a consequence, it has embarked upon a number of strategies. A detailed and comprehensive study was undertaken on the management of medical waste in Botswana in 1995, as part of the Waste Management Project. The study produced a reference document for the development and implementation of policies and guidelines for the disposal of medical waste in Botswana. The report also contains a code of practice which forms the basis for medical waste management and, against which, performance of waste management practices can be evaluated.

Available health indicators show remarkable improvements in the health status of people country-wide. Malnutrition rates for under-five year old children have declined from an average of 28%-30%, during the early 1980s, to 15%-16% nation-wide by the 1990s. This coincides with the advent of generalized supplementary feeding during the extended drought. Infant mortality rates have declined from 110 per 1000 live births in 1970, to 92 per 1000 live births in 1971, and 41 per 1000 live births in 1996. Life expectancy at birth has increased from 56 years in 1971 to an average of 62 years in 1991. However, maternal mortality remained high at 200-300 per 100,000 live births in 1991.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.


Programmes and Projects   

Basic education in Botswana is free. The Ministry of Education completed a commission to review the whole education system in 1993. In addition, the Department of Curriculum has reviewed the Primary School Curriculum to be gender sensitive. Information, education, and communication activities are being carried out by different departments and NGOs on gender issues. These activities target both rural and urban women, men, and youth; aiming to further strengthen programmes directed at eliminating persistent negative images, stereotypes, and attitudes and prejudices against women and the girl-child.

The Vocational Education and Training Department of the Ministry of Education is reviewing its programmes with a view to increasing the enrollment of females in educational institutions. This will increase educational and training opportunities for women and girls in sciences and technology, particularly at the post-secondary level. Botswana has a literacy programme which has been successful. Most of the recipients have been female.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.


Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

In consonance with the objectives of science and technology, the objectives of education and awareness raising, as well as capacity-building are: 

The educational review process took note of the environmental problems defined in the National Policy on Natural Resources Conservation and Development. This review process, among other things, is meant to enhance the environmental component of the school syllabi. In particular, the content should reflect the environmental issues that are of interest to Botswana. It is recognized that for children to appreciate the national and international efforts towards environmental management they ought to be educated on these subjects, made to participate in environmental activities, and be molded into the future befitting custodians of natural resources.

The National Conservation Strategy Agency has initiated an activity as part of the World Environment Day, during which there are celebrations for children at all educational levels to participate in essay competitions about the environment. This is to educate and encourage them to participate in environmental conservation activities. This project is completed in cooperation with other relevant institutions, government and non-governmental organizations.

Information   

No information is available.


Research and Technologies  

No information is available.


Financing  

No information is available.

Cooperation  

Botswana, with the financial cooperation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has designed a National Environmental Education Strategy which will form the basis for the Environmental Education Action Plan. The Environmental Education Strategy acknowledges that young people represent an important target group and should be regarded as a distinct and influential force in promoting environmental awareness.

* * *    

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 9 February 1998.

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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

In Botswana, the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing with the Departments of Surveys and Mapping, Lands and Town and Regional Planning are responsible for sustainable land use planning and management. The District and Town Councils have the portfolio responsibility for providing municipal infrastructure in their respective areas.

The Government has established a Housing Department in order to give housing the attention it deserves, especially since shelter constitutes one of the basic human needs. This Department is charged with the responsibility of promoting housing development and improvement through policy initiatives that create an enabling environment for shelter provision. Apart from the government, various other institutions are involved in the provision of shelter. These include the Botswana Housing Corporation which provides houses for rental and sale in towns and some urban villages.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In Botswana, the main legislation guiding physical planning, orderly and progressive development, and control of land in both urban and rural areas is The Town and Country Planning Act (1977. The Urban Development Standards (1992), and the Development Control Code (1995) also facilitate the orderly planning of settlements. 

It is the policy of the Government that all citizens should have easy and equal access to land. In order to realize this, three land tenure systems have been put in place. These are:

Tribal land (communal land) comprises about 71% of the total land area of the country and is allocated freely to citizens for residential, commercial, industrial, civic, and community uses. It can be granted either under customary land right or common law lease. The administration and allocation of tribal land is the responsibility of land boards established under the Tribal Land Act.

State Land comprises 23% of the total land area of the country and includes National Parks, Game Forest reserves, and leasehold ranches. Until 1993, state land could be allocated under a Certificate of Right (COR) and a Fixed Period State Grant (FPSG). The CORs were introduced during the inception of the SHHA programme in order to facilitate access to land by urban low income groups. COR titles are administered by town councils. The FPSG is applied to urban plots which are fully serviced on either a 99 year lease for residential or 50 years for commercial/industrial. State land is administered through the State Land Act.

Freehold land comprises about 6% of the total land area of the country. The government no longer allocates land under the freehold system. Freehold land is held indefinitely. Currently some of the freehold land is being bought by the government and converted to either state land or tribal land. Furthermore, some of the freehold land is subdivided and sold to other people or subdivided for township development (for example, Phakalane).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

In Botswana, the main objective regarding human settlements is to improve their social, economic and environmental quality, and the living and working environments of all people, in particular the urban and rural poor. Accordingly, improvements should be based on technical cooperation activities, partnerships among the public, private and community sectors, and participation in the decision making process by community groups and special interest groups such as women, indigenous people, the elderly and the disabled. These approaches, therefore, form the core principles of the national settlement strategy. The strategy recognizes the general principles that countries set priorities in accordance with their national plans and objectives; taking into account their social and cultural capabilities and their impact on marginalized and disenfranchised groups, with particular reference to the needs of women.

The National Settlement Policy (NSP) was introduced during the National Development Plan 5 (NDP5) (1979-1985) to counteract the then prevailing bias of investment towards towns, especially Gaborone. The main concern was the inordinate growth of Gaborone threatened the balance of development in the country to the detriment of other major centres which also needed to be stimulated to enhance their development potential. The overall goal of the NSP is to provide a framework for guiding the distribution of investment in a way that reflects settlement size, population, economic potential, level of infrastructure, and the role of settlements as service centres. The NSP encourages the development of settlements in terms of:

The thrust of the NSP is to encourage intermediate city development and therefore it has established a three tier settlement hierarchy: 

Land use planning is not a new phenomenon in Botswana. Past experiences and records indicate that the traditional chiefs who had authority on land have always done some form of land use planning. Formal land use planning in Botswana started with the implementation of the Tribal Grazing Land Policy, in 1975, when some areas were zoned for wildlife use, others became reserved areas, while other areas continued to be for communal use. Land use planning is done on the basis of assessed needs for various land use types, socioeconomic impacts, resource endowment and use, as well as environmental impact. This is a necessary step towards sustainable land and natural resource management. Various legislation and policies come into play during the preparation of the integrated land use plan. Some of which are:

In Botswana, planned activities include: 

The Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) aims at providing financial assistance to investors to establish employment generating activities in both rural and urban areas. The FAP has an built-in mechanism to encourage women to participate in the business sector by giving them a larger grant. Furthermore, the grant given for locating in rural areas is larger than that given for investors locating in towns. Financial institutions, such as Commercial Banks, the Botswana Building Society, among others, as well as the government are providing the necessary financial resources to members of the public to build houses.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

The districts up to now continue to prepare and update their respective integrated land use plans, this happens from time to time as policies and legislation are reviewed. In the preparation of such plans the communities have major inputs with regard to the various land uses. For land use plans to be feasible and sustainable, the communities should be the ones who decide the uses on a particular type of land. It should be noted, however, that not all districts have such plans. Those that do not, have started some studies, such as the water point survey, which will facilitate the zoning of land and preparation of plans. The Tribal Land Act was amended in 1994 to allow the land boards to gazette the land use plans. This will ensure consistency in the use and management of the planned areas.

The achievement of sustainable human settlements development entirely depends on consultations between and participation by the various actors, such as the central government, local authorities, private and parastatal organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the public at large.

Programmes and Projects   

There are eight programme areas encompassed by this strategy:

The implementation of these programme areas is outlined below. They are consistent with Agenda 21. It is important to note that some implementation activities pre-date the Rio conference.

Provision of Adequate Shelter for All

The objective of this programme activity is to achieve shelter for rapidly growing populations and for the currently deprived urban and rural poor, through shelter development and improvement that is environmentally sound. Various activities have been undertaken in Botswana to ensure that the majority of the population have access to shelter in line with this objective.

The Government published the National Policy on Housing in 1981. The long term objective of this policy is "to ensure safe and sanitary housing for everyone." To achieve this, the Government has instituted a number of programmes to facilitate the process of shelter delivery. These include but are not necessarily limited to the following:

The Self Help Housing Agency Programme (SHHA) was introduced in 1973 to assist low income urban households to develop their own houses. Under this scheme, the Government provides basic services such as earth engineered roads, communal water stand pipes, and a pit-latrine to each plot. At the inception of this programme applicants with an income range of between P800 and P7,000 were provided with free serviced plots on a first-come first-served basis. Plot holders were given tenure security through a Certificate of Rights (COR). To assist plot holders to develop houses, a building material loan (BML) of P1,200 was provided upon request.

As of 1992, the service standards of SHHA areas were improved to include individual plot water connection and water borne sewage system (as some of the requirements in plot development), and provision of electricity to the plot boundary. Other major shifts in this programme include an increase of the qualifying income range to between P1,500 and P10,000, the replacement of COR with the Fixed Period State Grant (FPSG), and an increase of BML to P3,600. The SHHA Programme has also been used to upgrade the squatter settlements of Naledi in Gaborone and Peleng in Lobatse which existed prior to its inception.

Shelter provision in rural areas has been on individual initiative. In these areas, the most important pre-requisite for housing development, access to land, has not really been a disturbing issue due to the fact that all male and female citizens who are of age are allocated free tribal land. In an effort to facilitate shelter provision in rural areas, the government intends to introduce a rural housing programme.

Shortage of serviced land has been identified as one of the major constraints to urban housing development. As such, a major land servicing programme, the Accelerated Land Servicing Programme (ALSP), was introduced in 1987 at an estimated cost of P500 + million. The objective of the programme is to service land for all use classes, such as residential, commercial, and industrial in all urban areas. The plots are provided on a cost- recovery basis, and the involvement of the private sector in land development was seen as one of the most important factors.

Improving Human Settlements Management

The objective of this programme area is to ensure sustainable management of all urban settlements to enhance their ability to improve the living conditions of residents, especially the marginalized and disenfranchised, thereby contributing to the achievement of national economic development goals. A number of initiatives to support this objective have already been or are being implemented in one way or the other in Botswana.

The Major Village Infrastructure Programme aims at providing basic infrastructure, such as improved roads, potable water, storm water drains, and electricity in large villages. The main objective is to make these settlements attractive to investors and as such make them alternative centres for commercial and industrial location.  Another initiative aimed at improving human settlement management is the provision of industrial sites and factory shells. In an effort to create an enabling environment for employment generation, and support small scale business initiatives, local authorities in rural and urban centres have designated industrial sites and factory shells. Some are provided with water and electricity. The factory shells are rented out and industrial plots are allocated to investors.

Promoting Sustainable Land-Use Planning and Management

The issue of access to land, especially in urban areas, is often a concern. This is further compounded by competing demands of land for industry, commerce, agriculture open spaces, and so forth. Other issues of concern include unsustainable practices, such as encroachment on environmentally sensitive areas. The objective of this programme area is to provide for the land requirements of human settlement development through environmentally sound physical planning and land use.

Promoting the Integrated Provision of Environmental Infrastructure

Sustainable urban development hinges on the availability of clean water supply and provision of infrastructure for sanitation and waste management. An integrated approach in the provision of environmentally sound infrastructure in human settlements is seen as an investment that fosters sustainable development through improved quality of life, increased productivity, and improved health.

The Central Government provides an enabling environment for the provision of infrastructure. The main policy in supporting infrastructure development, especially in the urban areas, is that of full cost-recovery. In towns, developers are hence required to pay rates and a service levy. Currently, efforts are being made to look into ways of applying the cost-recovery principle in the urban villages, especially as they also need a certain level of infrastructure making them attractive to investors.

Several programmes and projects have been instituted to facilitate the provision of environmental infrastructure on a national basis. The National Rural Sanitation Programme is geared towards the facilitation of safe and sanitary living conditions in rural areas. Through this programme, individuals in villages are assisted to construct pit latrines by providing free substructures. The contribution of the beneficiary is to develop the superstructure. A major setback of this programme has been the inadequate implementation capacity as well as the inability of some beneficiaries to complete the superstructures.

Waste disposal, littering, and the indiscriminate dumping and unsightly stockpiling of wastes are issues of great concern in the country. Very often wastes have been crudely dumped in burrow pits or sites which are not properly investigated and can cause water and environmental pollution. The Government has embarked on a Waste Management Project whose main focus is on the prevention and control of water pollution through proper waste management, including the proper location for waste disposal sites. This Project is at a fairly advanced stage, and has led to the development of a draft Waste Management Act and guidelines for landfill sites.

Natural Disaster and Relief Programmes

Due to recurring droughts, the Government has instituted a Drought Relief Programme to assist the worst affected areas with basic relief supplies. The Government has also established a National Disaster Preparedness Committee. This committee is charged with the responsibility of rendering assistance to disaster victims in times of need. There are also similar committees established at local levels.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

Land inventory supports sustainable land use planning and management with the primary aim to improve record keeping and the retrieval of information for Land Boards. Various land inventory projects and studies have been carried out in Botswana, but non of these have so far been implemented on a national scale. These include the Maun Pilot Project, and the Ramotswa Pilot Scheme. Several implementation problems have been encountered mainly as a result of the lack of appropriate staff in the Land Boards. In some cases, the cost of the pilot projects was considered to be high. There were also problems of inadequate consultations between and among relevant institutions, resulting in duplication of efforts. In order to standardize and consolidate these efforts, the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing instructed the Departments of Surveys and Mapping, Lands and Town and Regional Planning to work in conjunction with Land Boards to design and propose an adequate and cost effective Land Inventory System.

Research and Technologies   

Promoting Sustainable Energy and Transportation Systems

The roles played by the Botswana Technology Centre and Rural Industries Innovation Centre in developing energy saving and renewable energy technologies are significant to human settlement development. Some of these technologies include the use of solar power, wind power, and biogas. These institutions are also involved in disseminating information on the use of energy saving techniques and energy saving appliances.

Financing   

For details see Strategies, Policies and Plans.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Botswana to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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