Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-Poverty-stricken families in the rural parts of //Kharas Region are likely to migrate to Keetmanshoop in order to receive free food when the food bank is established at the town. Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Kröhne said despite the government intending to assist poor people in the urban areas and Keetmanshoop in particular through the food bank programme, the initiative might bring with it negative effects for the town. She said the good initiative might at the end of the day cause problems for the local authority, as more people from rural areas are likely to flock to the town to get free food and other basic amenities through the programme. “There are concerns of migration of people to Keetmanshoop just so they can get free food.” The food bank is meant to distribute food to families living in abject poverty and was rolled out in Windhoek in June 2016 and //Kharas. Training of street committee members has been completed and the process of identifying possible beneficiaries is currently underway. But Kröhne said because the food bank will target people from Keetmanshoop only, many people from the nearby rural areas might be tempted to come to the town to benefit from programme, which will put further strain on the municipality’s ability to deliver services to the people. She explained that usually such migrants flock to informal settlements and set up shacks on unserviced land, later demanding to be provided with proper services such as water and electricity. She says this should be expected when the food bank is up and running. The mayor added that in 2017 when the municipality distributed food to elderly people, people from as far as Koës and other surrounding rural areas approached her the day before, to inform her that they will be overnighting at Keetmanshoop to wait for the food distribution before they returned to their areas. “This is the challenge we face … when we gave food to the elderly last year we budgeted for 500 people but we ended up giving to 800. Poverty and hunger will force people to come here if they know they can get food,” she said.
New Era Reporter
2018-03-09 10:15:48 11 months ago