Poverty on the rise in Northwest District

Francinah Baaitse
FILE PIC: Northwest District Council

The Northwest District has witnessed a concerning four percent increase in poverty over the last three months, with numbers expected to rise further, according to recent reports from the District Council.

“It is distressing to note that the number of individuals registered under various welfare programs for the needy has reached 7,916, and this figure is anticipated to continue its upward trend,” stated Itumeleng Kelebetseng, Chairperson of the District Council representing the Botswana Congress Party (BCP).

Kelebetseng attributed this sharp rise to the cluster assessment conducted in December 2023, aimed at addressing a backlog of pending cases. “Despite efforts to mitigate the backlog, the department continues to witness a surge in registrations for various welfare programs, indicative of the pervasive poverty gripping our district,” he emphasized.

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Highlighting ongoing efforts, Kelebetseng mentioned a rehabilitation program for destitute individuals, stating, “Nine people have received funding, and two projects are currently showing promising results.”

Additionally, the Social and Welfare Department is actively engaged in community sensitization initiatives to promote awareness of available programs aimed at enhancing livelihoods.

“I urge all Honourable Councillors to encourage community members to participate in economic empowerment programs such as ‘Temo letlotlo’ and wealth creation schemes for sustainable livelihoods,” Kelebetseng urged.

The District Council says it remains committed to addressing the escalating poverty levels and fostering initiatives that empower individuals and communities towards self-sufficiency and prosperity.

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