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March 5, 2018 at 7:36 am #831Clensy Appavoo
Description: Although a lot of efforts have been made by successive governments to deal with poverty, it has remained a dark side of our society and has now become a real ‘plague’ in our modern society. It is unconceivable that in the 21st Century a small country like Mauritius has not been able to ‘eradicate’ the problem. It is clear that solutions applied have been only partial, hesitant and not holistic and courageous enough. Still the solutions were already written on the wall.
Solutions: The latest report of the World Bank has evaluated that it will cost Mauritius only 1% of its GDP to completely eradicate poverty. At the same time, it is very easy to identify and stratify the levels of poverty within a small population like Mauritius and identify a complete set of measures to eradicate the ‘plague’. If we deal with the problem in a holistic manner, there are FOUR macro-economic steps to be taken:
Step 1 – Allocate a budget . Our GDP is actually around USD 26 billion (MRU 890bn) and 1% of this amounts to less than MUR9Bn which is less than half of the amount the government will spend on one single project , the Metro. If a special ‘Poverty Eradication in Mauritius’ is set up Government can ask each citizen to contribute MUR 10 each and a total of 900,000 citizens can already contribute MUR 9m. Private sector can contribute a substantial part by ‘land availability’, support etc and Government can makea secial budget allocation for this fund.
Step 2 – Identify the families who are ‘poor’ and create stratify them into different groups. Mauritius Statistics has all the figures and there is a maximum of 12,000 ‘poor’ families which can be grouped into stratas
Step 3 – Identify the solutions to alleviate poverty [housing, food, medical, clothes, education, decent employment, basic entertainment, etc]
Step 4 – Government must solicit the private sector to work together and contribute to the ‘eradication solution’ which is the following: Identify up to TEN locations of land (100 arpents each) actually under cane cultivation and which are situated close to ‘urban’ or ‘rural’ agglomerations or towns/villages. Government and the Private sector must work together to construct TEN ‘Smart Cities’ with high rise residential (containing 2-3 bedrooms) and other utility buildings and all facilities to house all ‘poor people’ under a special scheme which will be given to the poorest and sold at very low cost (with exemption of payment for first five years) for those who can afford after the five years. The ‘Smart Cities’ must have all modern facilities: schools, health centres, agricultural areas for cultivation, trades , entertainment areas etc to make life pleasant. Integration to work and employment can be made on a gradual basis with a defined plan.
Solution: Each ‘Smart City’ will have a total of 1,200 families if we talk of a complete ERADICATION and an average cost of MUR900M. Closeness to existing ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ agglomerations is important to avoid ‘exclusion’ of our poor citizens. Knowing the generosity of Mauritians , a great majority of our citizens will participate in this project but its realisation must not be left in the hands of the State only. The solution is here and it requires only Government WILL POWER to make it happen!+1