The number of people living in extreme poverty in Botswana is increasing again after several years of decline, the Ministry of Local government and Rural Development said in a new report seen by APA on Saturday.According to the report the destitution statistics for the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 depict an upward trend from 70 512 in 2016/17 to 75 053 in 2018/19.
“The overall grand total of beneficiaries under the destitute programme for 2018/19 is 75 053, reflects an increase of 4 345 (6.1%) from 70 708 beneficiaries enrolled in 2017/18,” reads the report.
The report states the increase in the numbers is attributed to among others; disintegration of the extended family system, low socio-economic status, old age and disability which renders beneficiaries economically unproductive.
It states that a noticeable increase in the number of permanent destitute persons is observed in Okavango in northern Botswana (19.9%), Boteti in the central part of the country (16.4%), Tonota 11,1%)also in the central part of the country and Maun Administrative Authority (7.3%) in the north west part of the country.
It says five districts have experienced an increase in the number of able bodied destitute persons as follows; Ghanzi in the western part of the country (30%), Kgatleng in the southern part of the country (24.5%), Moshupa also in the southern part of the country (23.8%) and Maun Administrative Authority (17.2%).
This is attributed to limited “job opportunities and persistent drought. The report comes against the backdrop of measures put in place by Botswana to eradicate poverty.