Community representatives of Khawa in the Kgalagadi district of Botswana met recently to develop a community environmental action plan for their area. The participatory workshop was hosted by Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) in partnership with IUCN and identified key and relevant actions that could address some of the environmental and socio-economic challenges in the village.
Participants to this workshop included the Kgalagadi District Technical Advisory Committee composed of government officials from various departments and parastatals, the Board of Trustees for Khawa Trust, Community Leaders and representatives of the Khawa community. The process used various participatory tools to identify stakeholders, opportunities and problems related to landscape and resource use.
Engaging with the Khawa community using the participatory tools was a rewarding experience and brought IUCN and ORASECOM very close to the community. Through this process, IUCN and ORASECOM were able to understand people’s customs and way of life, their livelihood activities, their future vision and plans, and the challenges that they face in their day to day lives in the management of their natural resources.
The participatory tools were highly effective as a way of learning from, and with community members. They provided a means of investigating, analyzing and addressing constraints and opportunities to facilitate community action, planning and development of the natural environment and their livelihoods, which are so closely intertwined.
Despite experiencing constraints with language barriers, and the lack of electricity and running water, the workshop left community members and stakeholders excited, informed and geared up for the prioritization and implementation of projects from the Action Plan.
This workshop is part of the Kalahari-Namib Project (KNP) being implemented by IUCN and the Demonstration Project on Community Based Rangeland Management in Botswana being implemented by ORASECOM.
The Kalahari Namib project seeks to support communities and policy makers in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to effectively implement and upscale (Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in the Molopo- Nossob River Basin in order to significantly contribute towards improved local livelihoods.
The objective of the ORASECOM project is to improve the management of the Orange-Senqu River Transboundary Basin through the implementation of a sustainable programme of policy, legal and institutional reforms and investment options using the Trans-boundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and Strategic Action Programme (SAP) process.