April 24, 2015, 8:33am
Poverty has gone down by 11 percent over the last decade. This is contained in the report released in Windhoek yesterday by the National Planning Commission (NPC).
According the report titled “Namibia Poverty Mapping”, Namibia registered a general decline in the incidence of poverty of 11 percentage points over the 2001 to 2011 period, with national incidence of poverty declining from 37.9 percent to 26.9 percent over this period.
The report states that currently an estimated 568 418 people are said to be poor. This indicates 125 277 fewer people living in poverty at the end of this 10-year period than would have been the case if the poverty rate had remained unchanged.
According the report, the greatest decline was registered in the northern regions of Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene and Oshikoto as well as the eastern region of Omaheke. The report further states that the Zambezi and Khomas regions registered an increase in poverty of 7.2 percentage points and 1.2 percentage points, respectively.
In 2011, out of the country’s 13 regions, Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto, Omusati, Ohangwena, Kunene, Zambezi and Kavango had poverty incidences that were above the national rate of 26.9 percent.
Even though as in Zambezi, the poverty incidence in the Khomas increased between 2001 and 2011, the region still has the lowest incidence of poverty with only 5 percent of its population living below the poverty line. Khomas Region is home to Windhoek, the political and economic capital of the country.
Erongo, //Kharas, Hardap and Oshana regions also reported low levels of poverty.
Although there was a general decline in the incidence of poverty at national level, there were marked differences in the recorded changes in the incidence of poverty across the regions.
In 2001, the poorest region was Ohangwena followed by Kavango, Oshikoto, Kunene and Omusati, with more than half of the population being classified as poor in these regions.
By 2011, however, the situation had changed with only Kavango at 53 percent – having more than half of its population classified as poor.
This widely based decline in poverty is a reflection of the important economic, social and policy progress that has been made, and is the most notable trend between the two census years.
In terms of regional ranking, the situation has changed, with Kavango being the poorest region followed by Oshikoto, Zambezi, Kunene and Ohangwena.
Importantly, Omusati has fallen out of the five highest poverty headcounts rate regions, while Zambezi has joined this group. Over the 2001 to 2011 period, Omusati Region experienced a reduction of 22 percentage points in the incidence of poverty, from a high of 51 percent in 2001 to low of 29 percent in 2011.
The decline in the poverty headcount rate was not limited to Omusati Region, as nearly all the regions registered decline – with Ohangwena, Kunene, Oshikoto and Omaheke registering the greatest declines.
For instance, Ohangwena, which was the poorest region in 2001, recorded a remarkable reduction in the poverty headcount rate of 28 percentage points during the period under consideration.
In addition, the report reveals poverty level in a particular region differed from one constituency to the other, and that the poorest region does not necessarily have the poorest constituency in the country.
For example, the study shows the poorest region in Namibia as Kavango with a poverty headcount of 53.2 percent while the poorest constituency is in Epupa in Kunene with 69.2 percent.
The report presents the results of poverty mapping in Namibia. Poverty mapping is considered important because it details the spatial distribution of trends in poverty at regional and constituency levels.
This report combines the 2003/04 and 2009/10 Namibian Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES) data, and the 2001 and 2011 Namibia Population and Housing Census data, with the objective of estimating poverty levels for the 13 regions and 107 constituencies of Namibia. In the past, poverty estimates have been done using the NHIES data alone. in 2010.