Community Development and Social Services Minister, Emerine Kabanshi has disclosed that government will soon introduce other social protection programmes which will help alleviate urban poverty. Ms. Kabanshi said just like in rural areas, there are a lot of impoverished people living in urban areas.
She said these impoverished people that live in urban areas also needed help to cushion their sufferings. She said this when she handed over four motor vehicles to the department of social welfare in Chililabombwe, Mufulira, Kalulushi and Masaiti districts in the Copperbelt province.
The minister also handed over 372 bicycles to Community Welfare Assistant Committees (CWACs) in the above named districts.
Ms. Kabanshi said the motor vehicles and bicycles are meant to streamline operations of the social welfare department in the implementation of various social protection programmes including the ones that will be introduced in the districts.
She said the various social protection programmes which government has rolled out to all parts of the country have improved the welfare of many families in Zambia.
Ms. Kabanshi said social protection programmes have the potential to help in the alleviation of gender based violence (GBV) which are currently increasing in the country.
The Minister, who is also Luapula Constituency Member of Parliament, said women were being battered by their husbands because most of them solely depend on their spouses for survival.
She added that if the women are empowered, they will be able to support themselves.
She said government will continue helping the poor and vulnerable people in the country to ensure that the poverty gap between the rich and poor is reduced.
And Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Emerine Kabanshi, says government will continue to implement social protection programmes in order to reduce poverty levels in the country.
Ms. Kabanshi said the number of social cash transfer scheme (SCTS) beneficiaries in Masaiti district is expected to increase to over 4,000 this year.
The scheme was piloted last year in Masaiti in the Copperbelt Province with over 3,000 recipients.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kabanshi has disclosed that government will this year increase the food security packs (FSP) from 300 to 750 as part of programmes to improve people’s welfare.
The minister said this when she handed over a Toyota Land Cruiser motor vehicle and 93 bicycles to the Social Welfare Department in Masaiti district yesterday.
Ms. Kabanshi has since called for continued collaboration between government and stakeholders in the implementation of social protection programmes in the district.
And Masaiti District Council Chairperson, Christine Chande, has commended government for providing a vehicle and bicycles to the social welfare department in the district saying this would ensure efficiency.
Ms. Chande said the vehicle would provide the much needed mobility for the officers to monitor activities in the district adding that the bicycles would also enable community members reach all places in the vast district.
She pointed out that the SCT programme was already bearing positive results with many beneficiaries engaging in business and agriculture.
She added that people have also been able to send their children to school after being put on the programme.
Meanwhile, Masaiti District Commissioner, Mike Musonda, has commended government for scaling up the social protection programmes in the district.
Speaking during a courtesy call paid on him at his office, Mr. Musonda cited the doubling of packs under the FSP programme and increasing beneficiaries under social cash transfer as among key steps in improving living standards of people in Masaiti district.
Mr. Musonda has since assured of teamwork of collaboration to ensure that all programmes meet their intended target of promoting decent living among the people.