Community System Strengthening makes a difference
Community conversation is an interactive process which brings together members of the community under one roof. This process encourages the community to think, discuss and explore the main causes and underlying issues behind their health problems in their respective communities. ACHAP’s Community System Strengthening module under the Global Fund is supporting the process of facilitating conversations within various communities in Botswana.
Recently Community Facilitators in Ngamiland and Okavango districts started group discussions with the members of the Village Development Committees (VDC) and the Dikgosi. The team was welcomed by Kgosi Ditso Ketshwaetswe in Gumare Kgotla where the discussion took place.
One of the pertinent issues during discussions was alcohol and drug abuse which Kgosi Mmoso Zemona identified as a cause concern in the village. He mentioned that traditional brews such as Khadi and Mberere, use a lot of illegal ingredients which are added to it resulting in the brews being toxic. “In our village the use of Khadi and Mberere is very disturbing and a lot of illegal ingredients are added to these home-brewed beers to make them strong and make people lose control. After consuming this alcohol most people engage in unprotected sexual intercourse in the very depots.” Zemona narrated.
He suggested that government should stop operations of all home depots because they have a huge impact in spreading HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. He further advised that the alternative would be for condoms to be distributed in those households even though he was aware most of the owners of the depots are resisting that.
Commenting on alcohol abuse in the village, Kgosi Kelapile Motanzi of Mopako ward, encouraged facilitators to invite depots owners when conducting group discussions. He said that their contribution would make a difference as they may easily and efficiently reach out to their clients. Kealotswe added that alcohol issues can be resolved by involving those in trade of homemade brews hence it is vital to be invite to discussions as well.