MATABELELAND North has been rated as the poorest province in the country and in dire need of development, the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStat) 2015 Poverty Report has shown.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In a report released yesterday, ZimStat said Matabeleland North and South as well as Mashonaland West and Central were the poorest provinces in the country. But Matabeleland North topped the list with 85,7% poverty levels.
The report, which is the first of its kind to be done in Zimbabwe, gave indications of the country’s poverty levels.
Mashonaland Central has 75,6% poverty levels, Mashonaland West 73,3%, Matabeleland South 73,6%, Manicaland 71,8%, Mashonaland East 67,3%, Midlands 68,7%, Masvingo 65,7%, Harare 36,4% and Bulawayo 37,2%.
In Matabeleland North, Nkayi district has the highest poverty prevalence rate of 95,6% followed by Lupane and Binga with 92,9% and 88,3% respectively.
Nkayi has 27 wards and all were poverty-stricken except ward 27 which encompasses the growth point.
ZimStat said the high prevalence of poverty (68,8% to 93%) in Binga could be attributed to poor supportive infrastructure which fails to link it to the city centre.
In Mashonaland Central, Muzarabani district had the overall poverty prevalence rate of 88,4% followed by Rushinga and Mbire with 81,9% and 81% respectively.
In Mashonaland East, Mudzi was the highest with 90%.
In Matabeleland South, five out of seven districts have high poverty prevalence rates.
Umzingwane district was the worst affected with an 82,1% poverty rate. In Midlands province, Gokwe South scored 90,9% whereas in Masvingo, Mwenezi scored 80,9%
Speaking during the launch, ZimStat board member Selenani Hove-Musekwa said there was need for stakeholders to maintain an extensive public safety net and establish a large number of poverty reduction programmes in Zimbabwe.
“These programmes generally benefit from having precise information on where the poor are located and on how poor they are,” she said.
“The small area estimation exercise is a suitable tool to monitor poverty and inequality over time. It helps us to channel resources where they are most needed and to evaluate poverty reduction initiatives across the different provinces and districts in Zimbabwe.”
ZimStat director-general Mutasa Dzinotizei said the report was intended for use by stakeholders who have a role in the country’s poverty reduction strategies.