Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare concern

WINDHOEK: Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta says the terms ‘marginalised’ and ‘previously disadvantaged’ must be revisited.

Speaking during a one-day workshop on a strategy to sustainably mainstream marginalised communities in Namibia that was held in the capital yesterday, Kameeta said the magnitude of poverty, especially among rural communities, makes it difficult to pinpoint who is marginalised and who not.

He said people in the Omusati, Ohangwena or Kavango West regions drink dirty water while children have to walk kilometres to school in Kunene on empty stomachs braving attacks by animals.

Kameeta said these are communities who are not necessarily classified as marginalised, and he would say that all the rural poor are marginalised and are still disadvantaged.

Kameeta further stated it is a fact that a growing economy is crucial in addressing poverty.

However, he strongly believes that poverty in the Namibian context should be addressed with due consideration of the huge income disparities that exist, ‘because in Namibia, the haves (who are a small fraction of the population) really do have, and the have-nots do not have anything,’ he said.

The workshop follows the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare’s three-week regional consultative meetings and National Dialogue on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication in all 14 regions.