President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says government’s commitment to the eradication of abject poverty is reflected in its annual budget allocation of P160 million since 2012.
Delivering the State-of-the-Nation-Address yesterday (November 9), President Khama said a poverty eradication strategy was now in place to better guide programmes progress while government had committed itself to removing the current project backlog by the end of this year.
He said progress had been made in the development of the Kgalagadi Sand Building Block (KSBB); with the first depot that would make bricks being established in Tsabong.
Government, he said, had designated four additional locations for the establishment of fully fledged KSBB depots under the poverty eradication programme.
He encouraged Batswana to seize business opportunities associated with the KSBB technology.
President Khama further indicated that the government had identified land in Ghanzi, parts of the Central District, Francistown and other areas where boreholes would be drilled and equipped for beneficiaries to engage in horticultural production either as groups or cooperatives.
He added that the government was also embarking on grey (sewage) water harvesting to address the issue of shortage of water for horticulture and fish farming.
He stated that poverty eradication was an ethical, social and economic imperative of the government.
President Khama said there was need for every citizen and development partners to join in the war against poverty, adding that the rollout of the programme was being fast tracked to meet the set targets.
On social welfare, he said the government was committed to continue provision of social protection services to different categories of people in order to have dignified and improved standards of living.
He said during the 2015/16 financial year, resources in the sum of over P1 billion had been approved to finance such programmes.
He said as at June this year, the government was supporting 32 860 destitute persons, 102 492 old age pensioners, 1 986 World War II veterans, 1 229 community home based care patients, 32 803 orphans and vulnerable children, adding that from April 2015 cash allowances were increased.
President Khama also noted that the government had introduced disability allowance during the current financial year.
He noted that payments started in August with those who have been identified as qualifying for the allowance paid to people with severe disabilities to cushion the effects of disability.
He said consultations on the review of the revised national policy on disabilities would be presented to the current session of Parliament to guide implementation of disability services including access to education.