PLUMTREE residents have been challenged to campaign against poor service delivery that has become the order of the day as the local authority fails to play it’s constitutional mandate.
The town is experiencing service delivery challenges with poor access to water, slack garbage collection, sewer bursts and poor drainage systems.
Reports by residents indicate that there is now unsafe stagnant water in residential areas as well as sewer bursts while water is scarce, a development that puts people’s health at stake in the wake of Covid-19 lockdown.
Speaking during an advocacy training of Plumtree residents, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (Wild) legal officer Mosulatsila Nare said advocacy is a constitutional way of demonstrating grievances and holding the local authority accountable for its sins.
“Advocacy is a tool for influencing effective and efficient use of public funds and promoting active citizen participation. When advocating for improved services, residents should highlight the challenges they experience and demonstrate how this is affecting them,” she said.
Nare said residents should also make recommendations to the local authority on the issues they will have identified so as to proffer practical solutions to their problems. She said local authorities should be open to criticism and requests from residents since service delivery is their responsibility.
“Local authorities are responsible for budget and expenditure. They are required to be transparent and accountable and residents should have access to development plans. They have grounds to state their grievances if the local authority is not fulfilling its constitutional mandate,” she said.
The legal officer highlighted that advocacy is important because it assists communities in evaluating progress on local authorities’ budget and development plans.
“It is also essential in promoting feedback among duty bearers and rights holders,” added Nare.
Young women from Plumtree town were being trained to advocate as a way of enhancing their capacity to demand improved social service delivery in their respective areas.