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SEDC hit by malnutrition cases

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
The South East District Council chairperson, Phenyo Segokgo has lamented rising cases of child abuse resulting in children suffering from malnutrition. Segokgo said this during the council meeting this week in Ramotswa.

“On a sad note, the district is currently experiencing a rise in various social ills. In South East South, we are seeing an emerging trend in cases of malnutrition, which are basically due to child neglect/abuse,” Segokgo said.  He said children are either left alone to fend for themselves or they are not given proper and regular meals. The council chairperson said currently out of all the cases registered, more than 25% are of child abuse.

“In such instances children are taken away from their natural environment and alternative care is sought for them in institutional places like Childline and SOS. However, these placements are only a temporary measure because institutions are not the best places for the care and upbringing of children.”

Segokgo said in Tlokweng on the other hand, they are seeing a growing trend of human trafficking cases. “To date, we have recorded seven cases. Of the seven cases four of them are instances where a foreigner (Zimbabwean) crossed over into the country at an ungazetted place with children and one particular case involved a child trafficked into the country for sexual activities,” he said.

The council chairperson appealed to critical stakeholders and households/families to join hands and provide support to ensure that children receive adequate care.

He said as an intervention measure, it is therefore important to go out on a campaign trail to sensitise members of the community on this issue.

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It is also important to encourage members of the community to come forward and register for the foster care programme. He said in this programme, children are placed with identified families for a specified period of time instead of children being sent to institutions while the natural family of the child is being rehabilitated.

On other cases, the chairperson said the district has been experiencing increases in cases of burglary and theft, which might be associated with the on-going infrastructure developments.

“In addition, due to its proximity to border posts, cases of smuggling of goods which include tobacco and other illicit substances have been recorded (drugs) by the Botswana Police Service. These cases are of major concern, hence we should work together to identify strategies of addressing them,” he said.

He said subsequent to the introduction of the constituency community development programme, the district has been allocated P20 million to implement various projects.

“This programme, honourable house, was aimed at creating employment opportunities and addressing infrastructure challenges in the constituencies (sic). Funds amounting to P17,300,000 have so far been disbursed to cater for roads projects in the district and the remaining balance has been reserved to install tower lights in Tlokweng,” he said.

Segokgo said they have not done very well as far as implementation of the programme is concerned due to change of priorities, coupled by appeals on adjudication of projects by contractors.



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