Mulenshi Ward Councilor of Mansa Municipal Council Yotham Mwansa has described the 81.1 per cent poverty ranking for Luapula Province as worrisome because it has the potential of reaching 100 per cent.
Mr. Mwansa expressed his worry during the Civil Society Poverty Observation Group, in partnership with the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, and Consumer Unity and Trust Society public hearing meeting on social accountability at Chinuchi Lodge in Mansa.
He said Civil Society Organizations should start encouraging people to serious engage in productive strategies of reducing poverty at personal and household level as opposed to shifting the blame to institutions of government and local authorities.
The Civic leader said he is worried because the poverty figures for Luapula are ever on the increase and might reach 100 per cent if not checked through personal engagement in productive strategies that would improve individual economic welfare.
Mr. Mwansa said the culture of waiting for handouts from Government and other donor Institutions is not sustainable but individual engagement in productivity is the answer to reducing poverty levels in the province.
The Civic leader also expressed concern that many civil society organizations were not physically in the community but were just academic in their work without any tangible and positive impact in the community.
Mr. Mwansa invited all Civil Society Organizations and Non-governmental Organizations including Non-governmental individuals who were engaged in community programmes to visit him at Five Rose Guest House for serious and practical interaction on ways of reducing poverty in the province.
And Civil Society for Poverty Reduction Provincial Coordinator Hope Mwelaisha called for concerted efforts in the implementation of poverty reduction strategies in the province to maximize on the gains from all the sectors dealing with poverty reduction.
Ms. Mwelaisha said the worrisome poverty figures for the province can only be reversed when institutions, organizations and sector ministries dealing with poverty reduction strategies work together in changing the people’s mindsets towards work and productivity.