#MarchToEndPoverty with BIG

The coalition says that Namibia faces continuing social injustice endangering people's lives.
On Saturday (15 June) the Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition of Namibia will be holding a protest march to highlight a universal/unconditional Basic Income Grant of N$500/person/month as a possible solution to redressing the high poverty, unemployment and inequality rates that constitutes a major obstacle to Namibia’s socio-economic growth prospects.
According to a media statement by the coalition, the march begins at Katutura Youth Complex at 08:00 and continues to the Zoo Park via Independence Avenue, where the organisation will handover petitions from across Namibia to the Hon. Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka, to make a direct plea with the government for the implementation of a BIG.
After handing over the petitions to Sioka, there will be an open mic and entertainment show open to the public, as well as a jumping castle for kids to enjoy the day with their families.
Social injustices
According to the BIG Coalition, Namibia endures continuing social injustice endangering people’s lives. Furthermore, Namibia is the world’s second most unequal country with a poverty rate of 1.5 million Namibians facing starvation, according to the World Bank and FAO. Malnutrition is the number one killer of children 5 years and below.
Furthermore, the coalition says that Namibia has the world’s 2nd highest unemployment rate and the highest youth unemployment rate in SADC. 75% of Namibians earn N$1 500 or less per month (2020 UN Human Development Index).
Add to that, Namibians experience a short lifespan/low life expectancy and the country lacks decent housing, with the expectation that two million people will be living in shacks within the next 7 years.
Other pertinent issues are a lack of quality education (high failure rate); a lack of decent healthcare; and, according to the United Nations Development Programme, Namibia continues to be among the countries in the world with the lowest living standards.
‘Dehumanising conditions’
These are all dehumanising conditions with brutal consequences such as increased crime, gender-based and sexual violence, suicides (number one in Africa and 11th in the world), alcoholism, prostitution, etc. “All these have led to Namibia’s social/moral fabric decay which is a threat to our country’s peace, security and stability, as evident in the wave of crime engulfing our country,” the coalition said.
“For the past 19 years, the BIG Coalition has been advocating for the introduction of a universal/unconditional BIG as one of the most efficient ways through which to reduce poverty without any leader listening to the plight of the Namibian people. We are tired of living in poverty!”
International relations and the UN human rights experts have warned that poverty and inequality are the ultimate threats to peace and security currently facing humanity. They have warned that, if the poor are left hopeless, poverty will undermine societies through conflict, violence and civil disorder.
A BIG of N$500/person/month for people aged 0 to 59, as suggested by the BIG Coalition of Namibia, is necessary for a minimal decent existence that Namibia can afford as a resource-rich country to prevent our country from being torn apart by social tensions.
“The coalition urges all Namibians to rally behind us in the fight against poverty and to demand unconditional BIG as an economic right by taking part in the protest march.”