OUTAPI, 18 SEP (NAMPA) -
Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Minister Bishop Zephania Kameeta says although poverty in Namibia was halved to 29 per cent between 1994 and 2010, more needs to be done so a zero per cent rate can be achieved.
Kameeta said this whilst addressing members of the Omusati Region community during his regional consultative meeting on 'National Dialogue on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication' at Outapi on Thursday.
"Even if we bring it down to 10 or five per cent, we cannot say we have achieved something before poverty is removed from the face of Namibia," the minister told his audience.
Calling on all Namibians to work together in the fight against poverty, Kameeta demanded that tendencies of self-interest and corruption be stopped with immediate effect. He wants to see every Namibian citizen benefiting from the country's riches, saying it should not only be a few individuals living in houses worth millions of dollars while the majority live in shacks.
"We are here to seek your input," Kameeta cited, adding that the proposals needed are those that will change the lives of many people in the country.
Speaking at the same meeting, Special Advisor to the Omusati regional governor, Reverend Phillipus Kashima, noted that poverty is real in the Omusati and the region faces challenges of youth unemployment. Lack of nutrition and the use of unclean water, Kashima said, are also some of the challenges facing the Omusati community.
"Only 33 per cent of people have access to drinkable water in the region and 67 per cent of people drink from wells, canal and earth dams," Kashima pointed out.
Statistics show that the Omusati Region's poverty rate stands at 28.6 per cent, which is above the national rate of 26 per cent, while the region's unemployment rate stands at 38 per cent.
Kashima also informed Kameeta that Omusati has many uneducated people who spend most of their time drinking alcohol and doing nothing. This, he believes, is also a contributing factor to poverty.
The 'National Dialogue on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication' is an intuitive launched by the line ministry in August 2015 so as to engage all stakeholders and identify what needs to be addressed to alleviate poverty in Namibia.