Plan to eradicate poverty

THE government has launched a programme planned to eradicate poverty and convince low-income earners to use alternative resour-ces to keep healthy.

The programme was launched during a festival in Hoedspruit, Limpopo. It was attended by conservationists and experts from various sectors of the economy.

According to social development department statistics, about 1,3million people depend on social security grants in Limpopo.

The programme was launched in conjunction with the Kruger-Kenya Biosphere and the department of environmental affairs.

Participants blamed a high lifestyle as the major contributor to poverty, making it difficult for consumers to live as per their income.

But they hoped the sustainable living programme would help save millions of people living in abject poverty.

But attendants were concerned that unless people altered their living standards, the planet would not be able to cater for them.

It emerged from the festival that the environment was under pressure to sustain the population because individual consumers have doubled.

Debby Thompson, the Sustainable Living Festival organiser, told Sowetan that although the country was emphasising skills development in artisans, there was a strong need to preserve environment as it was the source of food.

"The way things stand at the moment, we are using more than the planet can provide, and it's a problem," she said.

"But I think we should make everyone understand that they should live on the same standard as averagely developed countries."

Thompson said organic gardening was the tool that could boost the production of healthy foods and sustainable living.

She said they had teamed up with schools in Hoedspruit to strengthen sustainable living, usingpupils as foot soldiers to achieve their goals.

Delegates admitted that there were challenges facing communities that could be resolved through sustainable living. Among others, it included solar power energy and recycling.

Conservationists also called on local people to make use of raw products such as baobab fruits and morula to produce consumable products like their elders did.