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Many needy people in North Western Province are not benefitting from various Social Protection Programmes

North Western Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Grandson Katambi has expressed concern that many needy people in the region are not benefitting from various Social Protection programmes being implemented by the government.

Colonel Katambi (Rtd) said the majority of the people currently benefiting from social protection programmes in the Province were not deserving because those who genuinely required assistance had not been reached.

Speaking when a joint review committee on social cash transfer called on him, Col Katambi observed that people who had been deployed to the province to preside over social protection issues were not fully equipped with mobility to facilitate their movements.

Col Katambi disclosed that a number of old people who live in distant districts were wallowing in poverty because they were not aware of services and programmes such as the social cash programme which could propel them to the next day.

“Social Cash Transfer, if you went to Katambi village which is 100 kilometers from here [Solwezi], you will be shocked that needy people don’t know about it. There are people who are 90 years old yet they don’t know that there is that cash which can propel them to another day because they do not have a link,” he said.

Col Katambi indicated that there was a need for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services to be well-equipped for it to enhance its activities.

He said the government had provided adequate resources towards social protection but the question was whether the funds were reaching the intended people.

Col Katambi said it was disheartening that the region had remained poor despite having immense mineral wealth.

And Ministry of Community Development Principal Planner Weka Namposya Banda who led the delegation said the committee was in the province to get firsthand information on how social protection programmes were impacting people’s lives.

Ms. Banda said this information is important to help the Ministry plan well.

“We want to interact with our beneficiaries, because we want to get firsthand information on what the programmes have done to their lives. This information is important to us to help us plan better. Yon cannot be implementing programmes and then you don’t see whether you are making progress or not,” she said.

The committee visited Solwezi, Kasempa and Kabompo districts.