No one would disagree that supporting beggars is good; however, we should also remember that most of them are richer than the average man in town. Conduct a survey on them and you’ll get surprised to learn that some actually own enough land to utilise for their welfare…
The Government of Rwanda has VUP that gives priority to people in this category, school education is almost free, and health insurance is free for those classified under the Ubudehe programme as absolutely poor.
This is what I propose:
1. Government should institute certificates for beggars. Let the public know that this person should be supported and the money collected be taxed. Don’t forget that some beggars refuse to leave streets because they earn more than casually employed people.
2. Let local authorities explain VUP programmes to the population and give priority to the real poor people in need.
3. Government should create a welfare department in city councils with enough budget to resettle these people or provide assistance to them through providing shelter, access to medical services and food.
Reaction to the letter, “Giving money to beggars not the solution” (The New Times, October 7)