An evaluation of the integrated poverty alleviation and housing scheme in Botswana, case of Ramotswa village
This article evaluates the effectiveness of the Integrated Poverty Alleviation and Housing Scheme (IPAHS) in Ramotswa; an urban village located 32 km south-east of the capital city of Botswana, Gaborone. This study emanates from the fact that low income urban and rural residents with no formal employment were left out of the Self Help Housing Scheme (SHHA). The SHHA was mandated to facilitate the acquisition of subsidised land and loan to purchase building materials. One of the major conditions to qualify for SHHA is that applicants should have formal employment.; the IPAHS was specifically introduced to facilitate economic empowerment to poor households who do not qualify under the SHHA scheme. The IPAHS scheme is a twothronged approach mandated to equip the residents with skills to build/improve houses for themselves and create employment for themselves through molding of bricks for sale in an effort to alleviate poverty. This paper is based on documentary and field research. The field research has a participatory component involving discussion and open ended interviews with relevant government departments. It also involves the administration of structured questionnaire survey to 30 beneficiaries of the scheme. Results show that despite high uptake of the scheme within the country, there are several challenges such as insufficient income to build or improve their houses, signs of poverty in living environments of beneficiaries, uncoordinated roles of various institutions which are major stakeholders in the implementation of the scheme. The scheme requires pragmatic policies geared to meet the needs and aspirations of the poor. There is a need for policy interventions through Government commitment to principles such as the right to housing by every citizen, coordination of roles played by different stakeholders to support the sustainability of the scheme.
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