Rundu – The Namibia Statistics Agency’s (NSA) acting statistician-general Sikongo Haihambo has called on the leadership of the two Kavango regions to work hard to uplift people out of poverty as statistics show they are the poorest in the country.
Haihambo made the call during presentations his team made recently on the socio-economic conditions of Kavango East and Kavango West.
The NSA presentations, addressed to regional leaders and councillors, looked at poverty levels, population density and agriculture statistics.
“We started in Kavango West and East and in the next six months we plan to visit all the regions,” said the acting statistician-general.
“As we know we (the electorate) recently elected new councillors into office across the country, so we have decided that for us as the Namibia Statistics Agency it is very important to go and share the statistics with the respective leadership within the regions so that they can use the information as the basis for planning, particularly in policy formulation, to improve the status of their constituencies and regions and thereby uplift the livelihoods of their people,” noted Haihambo.
According to the NSA, Kapako and Rundu Rural East constituencies have unemployment as high as 38 percentand 50 percent respectively.
Both regions also showed a decline in poverty of only five percent.
According to Haihambo it is very difficult to pinpoint what the exact cause could be, but said what can be seen is that the Kavango regions are not the worst when it comes to rainfall.
These regions are not the worst off when it comes to the type of soil either – in other words the climatic conditions are much better than other regions and the Kavangos are also endowed with other resources including the Kavango River.
But it was noted: “Regions where it’s much dryer, regions where they do not even have rivers are doing much better than these two regions so once again the call is zooming into the specific causes and it should be coming from the regional leadership to address the issue to ensure that the living standards of their people improved.”
Kavango West also shows the lowest number in agricultural households that applied for agricultural loans, though the region depends on farming as its main source of income, something that angered some leaders in the region who argued their people do not access agriculture loans ‘because loans are not approved’.