Natalia Mannette U6A: Exposition: Draft 2 The topic for my presentation my presentation is “The “ The causes and Effects of Poverty in Trinidad ”. I have chosen this theme as I have observed firsthand the effects of poverty. Poverty can be described as the deprivation of food, shelter, money and clothing with almost 3 billion people in the world experiencing this situation, Trinidad included which sums up to almost one third of the world’s population. population. This presentation aims to discuss the issues and challenges of poverty. Poverty can result from many factors, socially, economically or otherwise. Two major causes seen recurring in Trinidad are unemployment and lack of education and/or skills. According to CCMF website and the National Statistical Offices, in 2009 unemployment in Trinidad was approximately 5.7%, a much lower percentage when compared to the 6.4% in both 2010 and 2011. As a result of this there is an increasing poverty rate in Trinidad, the government meanwhile attempts t o live up to the country’s expectations by trying to alleviate this problem with the introduction of programmes such as the Unemployment Relief Programme or URP as it is best known, as well as CEPEP. However at the same time one must question the ability of these governmental wages to efficiently support us “Trinis” especially larger families of 5 or more persons. According to current Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar, “Education is a powerful instrument for reducing poverty”. poverty”. Statistics have stated that Sangre Grande is one of the poorest areas in Trinidad which is linked to the fact that it has the lowest secondary and higher education attainment rate. As a result one lacks the adequate skills derived from education, further contributing to the already growing number of issues within the country. Due to the aforementioned causes the effects of poverty have become overwhelming both to society and to one’s lifestyle. lifestyle. One major effect is increasing crime. Due to poverty which results in desperation and the need to survive many persons become burglars, drug sellers or even hitmen and gang members. It is also observed through various talk shows such as “Point Blank” that the poor is manipulated and easily bribed into carrying out criminal activities due to their economic situation. Poverty has also been proven to have adverse effects on one’s way of living as they are unable to provide food for their families on a daily basis , resulting in starvation, man y in Trinidad as they are well provided for. A person’s health may even an issue which is not observed by many be affected drastically as they are unable to purchase the simplest medication and pharmaceuticals. One may not have access to other necessities available such as education and technology. It is therefore noted that the effects of poverty are very drastic. Hence it is noted that poverty has very adverse effects on society and people’s lives likewise. As it becomes more and more prevalent it poses a great number of challenges, becoming a burden for the government. The government is then depended on to provide welfare, healthcare, housing and employment resulting in expenditure that can be used in other sectors, such as education, tourism or health being utilized for the purpose of alleviating poverty. Furthermore the government has to put extra effort into the betterment of the nation’s aesthetic value as the capital Port-ofPort-of-Spain Spain is overcome with “hobos” creating a stench or defacing parks or hindering the daily processes of pedestrians. Therefore one can state that it is a great challenge especially for the government. Now we examine the primary data, which is a questionnaire of twelve questions distributed over a 7 day period via the internet, among 25 recipients. It was based on the causes and effects of poverty and its prevalence today. Of the responses 62.5% thought poverty is a big problem with 6.25% persons stating that their financial situation was poor and 37.5% stating only fair. The majority of persons thought that lack of motivation; low
income and poor quality education were the major causes of poverty in Trinidad. 93.75% thought it resulted in lack of opportunities. They also provided effects such as lack of educational opportunities and food, inability to attain well paying jobs or healthcare and crime. The primary data is reliable as it was anonymous and all questions were similarly interpreted by all respondents. However at the same time we must question its reliability as some respondents may have lied or excluded information that could have been important which they did not wish to disclose. It is valid because it contains information pertaining to the topic being researched focusing on both the causes and the effects. The secondary information consisted of an article entitled “The Side Effects of Poverty”, published on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 by the managing director of human resources. The author begins with a brief description of poverty he then goes on to briefly describe effects of poverty. These include starvation, which then leads to malnutrition, incidences of mental illness, inability to attend school and attain well paying jobs, vagrancy, increased governmental expenditure, lack of skills and crime. This article is reliable because the author is a professional, qualified thus well versed in the issue of poverty. This article is valid because it supports the research topic, with its focus on the effects of poverty; it is also up to date. In conclusion, it is noted that poverty in Trinidad is very current, with it numerous causes and effects which impact our daily lives. In my opinion, it is an issue that should not be prevalent, as Trinidad can be considered a wealthy Caribbean country having the oil and natural gas industry and other resources. However the causes such as unemployment and lack of education are very present resulting in unfavourable circumstances for many and should therefore be a priority of Trinidadians as a whole.