RUNDU, 29 MAY – The poverty and unemployment rates in Kavango East are alarming, the region’s Governor, Samuel Mbambo said Tuesday.
According to the Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey of 2015/16 report, the poverty rate for Kavango East stands at 42,9 per cent, unemployment at 39,6 per cent and youth unemployment at 37,3 per cent.
Delivering his third State of the Region Address, Mbambo said this is alarming given that there are regional resource endowments and opportunities for employment creation through public private partnerships.
In order to address unemployment and reduce poverty in the region, the governor said Government has funded several programmes worth about N.dollars 1.5 million under the Kavango Regional Council.
Under the micro-finance scheme, 31 income-generating projects received assistance, while 32 projects were funded through the regional council’s employment scheme.
Under ‘One Region, One Initiative’, an intervention by regional councils to transform local environments to make it more attractive to local residents, tourists and investors, 11 projects were funded.
There were also 199 cash/food for work projects and 29 farmers were supported through the ‘Support Resources for Poor Rural Farmers’ programme and 39 beneficiaries were supported by the regional special action plan.
All these interventions were geared toward addressing unemployment and reducing poverty in the region.
Mbambo further said approximately 273 households benefited from skills development, product marketing, equipment and start-up capital.
He also spoke about ‘Operation Werengendje’, which is aimed at assisting and inspiring residents of the region to grow their own food to ensure self-sufficiency and food security.
As part of the operation, 1 750 hectares of land were ploughed and 338 tonnes of millet and maize harvested. A total of 610 farmers benefited from Operation Werengendje.
“Several planned activities were carried out and they have yielded results,” Mbambo said.