Andrew Kathindi

Kavango West has been found to be the poorest region in Namibia according to a multidimensional poverty index report conducted by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), with 79.6 percent.

After Kavango West, the incidence of multidimensional poverty is followed by Kavango East (70.0 percent), and Kunene (64.1 percent). The two Kavango regions have generally been reported as among the poorest regions in the country over the years. The national multidimensional poverty stands at 43.3 percent.

According to the NSA, the region with the highest poverty intensity levels is Kunene region, reported at 59.2 percent, “which indicates that on average, the multidimensionally poor individuals in the region are deprived in about 59 percent of the weighted indicators.”

Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Ohangwena and Omaheke are reported as both multidimensionally and monetary poor and highest incidences. According to the NSA, lack of proper sanitation – biggest contributor to multi-dimensional poverty in Namibia at 17.4%.

“Head count ratio highest in households whose main language is Khoisan (93.4), Rukavango (67.8), and Zambezi (54.2%), with Khoisan more likely to experience multiple deprivations than the rest,” the report states.

According to the Statistician-General & CEO of NSA, Alex Shimuafeni, COVID-19 has played a significant part in poverty levels in Namibia. “The virus has sent shockwaves through the local and global economy. People are worried about their lives and livelihoods. Many businesses are either closed or waiting for customers to return.”

Erongo is among the regions with the lowest proportion of its population that is poor and deprived in most of the indicators i.e. ICT (0.4 %), Drinking Water (2.7 %), School Attendance (3.5 %) and Access to Clinics/Hospitals (4.8 %).