80 Percent of PWDs in Extreme Poverty

| May 12, 2015

About 80 per cent of people living with disabilities (PLDs) are in extreme poverty, according to the principal disability officer from Office of the President, Ms Moshia Moalusi.

Addressing a series of kgotla meetings in the Okavango Sub-district, Ms Moalusi said a research conducted in the past had indicated that the contributing factor to extreme poverty was neglect.

She defined poverty as the denial of choices and opportunities most basic to human development, including deprivation in health and survival means, lack of knowledge, denial of opportunities for a creative and productive life, social exclusion, lack of freedom, as well as deprivation in income.

She said in the past, people living with disability were hidden and therefore denied the opportunity to go to school or to be empowered, adding that they were also not involved in decision making processes.

She said the majority of people living with disabilities were unemployed and that some were unable to access or benefit from government initiatives geared towards improving their lives.

Ms Moalusi revealed that because of the challenges they faced to make a living, the government introduced several programmes aimed at giving them dignified lives.

She mentioned programmes like affirmative action which ensured that these people were included in all national programs, the whole purpose being to address and correct the existing imbalances some of which were a result of geographical conditions.

She explained that under affirmative action, if people with disabilities applied for poverty eradication packages or any programme they should be given a special dispensation, adding that if they were handicapped, their caregivers could take projects on their behalf.

Ms Moalusi also said government was committed to assisting people with disabilities socially, economically and politically so that they made meaningful contributions towards national development.

She informed the residents about the disability exemption identity card for all the citizens living with disabilities which would make it easier for them to access services, as well as benefit from social safety net programmes.

She therefore urged those staying with people with disabilities to register them so they could enjoy these benefits.

Regarding the P300 monthly allowance for people with disabilities, she explained that not all would be given the allowance except for only those with serious disabilities.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

Comments are closed.