“A person going hungry to bed or eating from the dumpsite is poor”: Kameeta

06 Oct 2017 18:00pm
ONGWEDIVA, 06 OCT (NAMPA) – Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Minister, Bishop Zephania Kameeta on Friday declared that a person is regarded as poor in Namibia if they go hungry to bed or eat from the dumpsite.
Kameeta made these remarks here whilst addressing a one-day popularisation workshop on his ministry’s Blueprint on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication for the regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Omusati.
The workshop deliberated on the implementation of the said Blueprint, which Kameeta described as a concrete plan of action to be executed by all citizens to fight poverty and inequality in the country.
According to Kameeta, a person is also regarded poor when they share water from a well with animals, like what is being experienced at the Eengodi Constituency in the Oshikoto Region, or when they cannot afford a decent shelter and still rely on nearby bushes when nature calls.
The minister added that having no access to decent health services is also an indication of poverty, especially when sick people have to travel long distances before reaching the nearest health facility for medical interventions.
“These are some of the basic needs that will enable our people to live a dignified life,” Kameeta told his audience, which included regional governors, councillors, heads of government offices and agencies as well as representatives of civil society organisations.
He noted that strengthening and expanding the country’s social protection systems was one of the important aspects that will be implemented under the Blueprint so that it has a significant positive impact on the lives of the people.
Although Kameeta is aware of the many criticisms associated with cash grants or free food that it will render people dependent and lazy, he took cognisance of the fact that poverty could worsen in the rural areas without Government’s social grants for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable children.
He noted that his ministry has already embarked on a process of reforming an inclusive social protection system, including discussions of introducing a Basic Income Grant to cover the poor and vulnerable people currently excluded from the grant system.
The system of social protection consists of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by, among others, enhancing people’s capacity to manage unemployment, exclusion, illness, disabilities and old age.