The Permanent Secretary (Poverty Eradication, Dr John Mothibi, has accused the media of exaggerating failure in one of President Ian Khama’s poverty eradication projects, the backyard gardening.
Mothibi said the media, especially the private media houses, are doing a lot to paint a gloomy picture of this poverty eradication project.
“Some big media houses like exaggerating failure…by picking on a few failed projects of backyard gardening, to portray this project as a failed project,” he said.
Mothibi was saying this at a Poverty Eradication Programme Progression Report press briefing, before packed reporters, from both the private and state media.
When updating reporters on the rollout status of the Poverty Eradication Programme, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Tshelang Masisi, said that backyard gardening is not just a smooth sailing project.
Masisi admitted that the roll out of backyard gardens is too slow as total of 448 projects are non operational and 90 percent of the non operational projects are due to water related challenges. He also said a total of 35 projects are reported to have been abandoned or failed due to death or lack of commitment of the beneficiary.
However, on a positive note, Masisi told reporters that, currently, 1, 739 backyard garden projects have been completed out of which 1, 249 are operational. Masisi said 346 projects (out of the 1, 249) are excelling in terms of production.
He said some gardens are generating above normal income and the beneficiaries have opened bank accounts to make savings, and some have constructed better accommodation for their families.
“In the future, the focus will be on ensuring that the beneficiaries of the poverty eradication programme continue to grow their enterprises and that those who are excelling are assisted to increase the scale of their operations,” said Masisi.
Beneficiaries of Poverty Eradication Programme were also allowed to come forth and introduce their projects, challenges and success stories at this press briefing.
The next Pitso of the Poverty Eradication Programme will be held in Damochujenaa on the 1st to 3rd August 2013.