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Young women undergo training on advocacy

Young women from Plumtree Town were yesterday trained on advocacy as a way of enhancing their capacity to demand improved social service delivery in their respective areas.

The training which was facilitated by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) provided knowledge and skills to engage the local authority on pertinent issues that affect young women, women, and children in the community. The training was conducted in response to action plans set during a young women’s dialogue last week where they had requested a training on the process for “Position Paper Writing.”

Delivering the training, WILD Legal Officer Mosupatsila Nare said Local Authorities are mandated to represent and manage the affairs of people in their area and are responsible for ensuring that there is effective and efficient service delivery such as water, healthcare, fire and ambulance services. She went on to say that advocacy is a tool for influencing effective and efficient use of public funds and promoting active citizen participation

“Local authorities are responsible for budget and expenditure. They are required to be transparent and accountable and residents should have access to the development plans and they have grounds to state their grievances if the local authority is not fulfilling its constitutional mandate,” said Nare.

Nare highlighted that when advocating for improved services, residents should highlight the challenges they experience and demonstrate how this is affecting them and should also highlight the adjustments and changes they would like to see.

“This is important because it assists communities in evaluating progress on local authority budgets and development plans. It is also essential in promoting feedback among duty bearers and rights holders,” said Nare.

Young women who were part of the training highlighted that due to the insufficient delivery of services in their town, they are hopeful that the training will assist them in demanding accountability from their local authority.

Young women also emphasized that during the lockdown, service delivery has worsened as garbage collection is slacking, access to water is limited and there is evidence of a poor drainage system which is resulting in unsafe stagnant water in residential areas.

Young women were encouraged to provide recommendations to the local authority on the issues they will have identified as this will proffer practical solutions and beneficial to their demands.

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