Bots seeks ways to eradicate poverty
Gaborone – Botswana has set July as the deadline to have wrapped up consultations with stakeholders in devising identifiable and definable steps out of poverty. Briefing the media and trade unions on poverty eradication, the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mokgweetsi Masisi said in the past, the focus was on poverty alleviation and reduction. “Poverty alleviation and reduction has long been overtaken by events hence the need to focus on poverty eradication. While cognisant of the fact that poverty eradication will not be achieved overnight, it nonetheless calls for radical measures,” said Masisi. According to Masisi, solutions that would be implemented would by no means be handouts as that would create a dependency syndrome. “A delegation will soon visit areas hard hit by poverty as a way of coming up with specifically targeted programmes at all levels. Poverty eradicating has remained an elusive ideology for many years and there is still some scepticism as to whether this can be achieved,” said Masisi. He however, promised Botswana would initially eradicate the severest of poverty in the shortest of time. “Solutions would be tailor made for different groups within society and it would not be a one size fits all solution. As government we realise that the level of poverty for a young person differs with that of an elderly person, and the needs for someone working for government, differ with those of someone working for a parastatal or a private company and the principles of out of poverty must be out of a collective,” said Masisi. Speaking at the same event, the permanent secretary to the vice president, Dr John Mothibi, said for a long time most government programmes had invariably been focused more on destitute persons. “Botswana had been silent on wealth creation something that some countries had long adopted. 80 per cent of the time when people talk about poverty, they refer to food poverty hence it was for that reason that government came up with the food basket to alleviate lack of food,” he said. Mothibi said an interim measure since government had now come up with the idea of backyard garden which was sustainable.