ONGWEDIVA – The Oshana Regional Council has indicated 568 households in the region have been affected by floods and 3 617 people in those households are surviving on food support.
Okaku constituency has 46 households affected by flood, Okatana constituency 55, Ondangwa Rural 89, Ondangwa Urban 7, Ongwediva 19, Oshakati West 48, Oshakati East 114 and Ompundja 190 households.
Ompundja has 947 people benefiting from food relief, Oshakati East 933, Oshakati West 237, Ongwediva 137, Ondangwa Urban 60, Ondangwa Rural 589, Okatana 396 and Okaku 318.
Oshakati East councillor, Abner Shikongo said the hunger situation in the constituency is concerning and due to the lack of rainfall, the situation is getting worse by the day.
“Per day, we get five to 10 people flocking to the office seeking food assistance. When they come to the office, we definitely have to record their names and request whether the disaster risk management has any flour in stock. We only give out a 10kg bag of flour per household. This is a drop in the ocean,” said Shikongo.
Shikongo maintained that vulnerability assessment has been conducted through the Office of the Prime Minister and is currently hoping for the situation to be normalised.
“Not only in Oshakati East but the whole of the northern belt is suffering from hunger. We as councillors sometimes have to dig deep into our pockets and help out our people while we wait for stock to be made available,” said Shikongo.
Shikongo highlighted that he appreciates the efforts being done by the Office of the Prime Minister to rescue the situation in Oshana.
Karolina Nghishidimbwa, a 45-year-old widow residing in Oshakati East has been unemployed for the past 10 years and has been surviving on the social grant.
Unfortunately for her, none of her two daughters work and putting food on the table is hard at times, as she lives with her four grandchildren in a small corrugated room.
“My husband died five years ago and he was the breadwinner of the family. He used to work at some construction site and other times sell scrap metal at the scrap yard to put food in our stomachs,” said a sad Nghishidimbwa.
She explained that sometimes they can go to bed on empty stomachs.
“It breaks my heart seeing my grandchildren asking me for food and I cannot do anything about it,” said Nghishidimbwa.
Due to the lack of rainfall and lack of harvest, she indicated that she hopes the government can come through with drought relief food, as things are getting really hard.