Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva-Although there has been a slight decrease in poverty and income inequality levels, poverty remains prevalent, specifically among the rural communities, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has revealed. According to the just launched Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey of 2015/16 the Gini coefficient, which is a measure of income inequality, has reduced by two percent from 58 percent during the 2009/10 survey to 56 percent in the last 2015/16 census. There is also a slight decrease of 1.1 percent of people who cannot afford minimum food of N$293.10 a month, from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent. The severely poor category of people who cannot afford food and a basic expenditure of N$389.90 has also reduced – by 4.7 percent from 15.4 percent to 10.7 percent. The poor category of people who cannot afford basic expenditure valued at N$520.80 has also decreased – by 11.4 percent from 28.8 percent to 17.4 percent. The statistics were released by the statistician-general Alex Shimuafeni at Ongwediva on Wednesday. The results were initially released last November to allow economists, planners and analysts to work with the statistics, said Shimuafeni. The statistics were compiled over a period of 12 months between April 2015 and March 2016 in order to cover seasonal expenditure variations in different characteristics throughout the year. Other statistics released include the total annual expenditure of households, which increased from N$28.5 million to N$64.8 million. The average consumption expenditure also increased – from N$65,348 to N$119,065 in the last five years. Equally, the consumption average per person increased from N$13,818 to N$28,434. Shimaufeni said the information will go a long way in informing decisions and policymakers about the progress on indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and social intervention plans, as the report provides baseline data for poverty and income indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of National Development Plans (NDPs) and SDGs. “In addition to the indicators that are linked to the SDGs, the NHIES provides information on other socio-economic indicators such as education, health, housing and utilities, main source of income and access to services among others,” noted Shimuafeni. Although there has been a slight decrease in poverty levels, the level of inequality in Namibia remains amongst the highest in the world, senior statistician Fransina Amutenya said. The highest poverty rates are recorded in Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West, Omaheke and Zambezi regions. Other regions such as Erongo, Hardap, Oshana and Karas recorded the least poverty levels. Poorer and severely poor households are more visible in rural areas compared to urban areas. In addition, Amutenya said the poor category and those in rural areas spend much of their money on food and beverages compared to people in urban areas. The elite – those in urban areas – spend more money on housing, vehicles and gadgets.
2018-03-15 09:04:56 6 months ago