The Governor of Oshikoto Region Henock Kankoshi said infrastructural development as well as improving peoples’ livelihoods are vital in the fight against poverty in the region.
According to the 2011 census, the poverty rate in Oshikoto Region currently stands at 42.6 percent. Okankolo Constituency has the highest percentage at 62.5 percent while Tsumeb has the lowest at 18.5 percent in the region.
Kankoshi made the remarks at a jam-packed church in Omuthiya on Thursday.
While briefing the Deputy Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Aino Kapewangolo, on developments in the region, Kankoshi said constructing roads to make transport and communication easier as well as promoting peace, unity and stability to attract investors, are among some of the prime interventions needed to fight poverty in the region.
“We should take cognisance of the fact that poverty is inter-related to other problems of underdevelopment,” said Kankoshi.
The deputy minister of poverty eradication is currently spearheading dialogues on wealth redistribution and poverty eradication in the northern regions.
The dialogues provide the local community with a platform to air their views on how best to fight poverty in their respective regions.
Kankoshi further informed the deputy minister that government should ensure all school children attend class.
Currently, 41.9 percent of children in the region have not completed their primary education, while only 15.1 percent have completed their secondary education and 3 percent have completed tertiary education.
Kankoshi added that poverty eradication needs concerted efforts to encourage the younger generation to study so that they can be employed in the formal sector.
According to Kankoshi, poverty and lack of education limit employment opportunities. Currently the unemployment rate in the region stands at 21.7 percent.
Chairperson of the Mangetti Farmers Association Shali Kamati advised the deputy minister and her delegation to see that broken boreholes are repaired so that they can be used by residents during the drought.
Kamati said the boreholes are essential for farmers in the fight against poverty.
Similarly, Kamati also pleaded with government to put up additional boreholes because the current ones are 10km apart.