Community Development Minister Michael Kaingu has observed that most vulnerable people in rural areas were unable to access the Citizens Economic Empowerment Funds (CEEC) because of complicated procedures.
Mr. Kaingu has however, said K5 billion was allocated to his ministry in this year’s budget for women empowerment programmes, which include empowering vulnerable people that could not access other empowerment funds from CEEC.
He said this when he paid a courtesy call on Southern Province Permanent Secretary, Darius Hakayobe at his office in Livingstone today.
Mr. Kaingu said the funds would be injected into women’s clubs in various parts of the country to reduce poverty levels, which he said had remained static despite numerous efforts to improve the situation.
He said poverty levels among women have remained the same because of poor implementation methods and supervision.
And Mr. Kaingu has revealed that his ministry was working in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, which will also spend K5 billion this year to purchase hammer mills for vulnerable women to enhance self-help projects.
He said there was now political will to empower the vulnerable people in the country.
He said for this reason, the social cash transfer programme which is under his ministry would be extended from five to 15 districts countrywide.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kaingu said there was need to meaningfully include culture into tourism activities and not to restrict it to dancing activities only.
Mr. Kaingu is on tour of departments under his ministry in Southern Province in order to get first hand information on the distribution of the food security packs, women’s clubs and the impact of the social cash transfer schemes.
He is also expected to visit Katombora Reformatory School in Kazungula district before proceeding to Sesheke in Western Province.
And Southern Province Permanent Secretary, Darius Hakayobe said the Food Security Pack (FSP) has succeeded in the province since all 2,600 beneficiaries received their packs as initially planned.
Mr. Hakayobe said a lot of developmental projects were taking place in the province, citing the skills training schemes and construction of a cultural village in Livingstone.
He said these developments have taken place from the time the CEEC empowerment strategies were redesigned.
He said there was need for a holistic approach towards poverty reduction in the country.
Mr. Hakayobe said such approaches would enable vulnerable people to be empowered in the process.