TSINTSABIS – Marginalised communities will now have to fend for themselves following government’s suspension of the drought relief programme earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Tsintsabis constituency councillor Betty Kaula, the programme has been halted until further notice, adding she was sympathetic to the plight of the San community who benefited greatly from the initiative.
She has appealed to good Samaritans to assist the needy wherever possible.
Kaula made the remarks after a number of Tsintsabis residents enquired about the programme after not receiving food parcels for months.
The drought relief programme mainly catered for the San and vulnerable Namibians, as well those affected by natural calamities.
Therefore, it served a crucial part in feeding thousands of families and individuals.
They would receive bags of maize meal, cooking oil and tinned fish, among others.
Beneficiaries of the programme at Tsintsabis last week told New Era they haven’t received any drought relief or food aid in six months, adding they were starving, as a majority of them are without jobs.
“The government must do something. We are starving and we will appreciate the little they can provide, as many of us are not working. Some, who are fortunate, survive on pension and social grants, while the rest are suffering,” said Bernadette Hangula.
Another resident, Lucia Soroses said she volunteered to cook at the local Tsintsabis Combined School for its school feeding programme so that she can at least have a meal at the end of the day.
“This is how my children and I are surviving at the moment. If it wasn’t for the school feeding programme, we would have starved to death by now. We are appealing to good Samaritans to assist,” she reiterated.
In January, the councillor had surrendered her entertainment allowance to buy food for the community.
“Since then, nothing has happened in terms of feeding the community and it is tough for them at the moment. It is a fact that San people are unlike other communities who engage in farming to grow something for the future,” added Kaula.