RUNDU - Kavango East Regional Governor Samuel Mbambo feels that the government’s feeding scheme, the food bank, should source food locally to distribute to beneficiaries.
Mbambo says most food items needed for distribution via the food bank are available locally.
The governor also wants local beneficiaries, after getting food, to join in his complementary Operation Werengendje initiative so that they can be empowered to produce their own food.
Mbambo made the remarks last weekend at the launch of the food bank initiative in Rundu’s Sauyemwa location, where locals gathered to witness the first distribution of the food in the region to the less fortunate.
“At this juncture, I would like to request you to source the food for the food bank programme locally. I am sure that most items you need for the food bank are available locally. Let the people in this region own the food bank by giving them the chance to provide food to the food bank,” said the governor, whose region is one of the country’s most reliable breadbaskets.
Kavango East is a big producer of fresh agricultural products as it is home to several government irrigation projects producing maize products, wheat, cooking oil and veggies at Shadikongoro government irrigation project
There are milling companies in the region and most irrigation projects are sitting on piles of unsold maize and other grains due to lack of buyers.
In Zambezi Region, where the food bank was also launched, rice is being produced at the government’s Kalimbeza irrigation project.
Mbambo noted that through Operation Werengendje, people in rural Kavango East have enough food for themselves and are looking for a market to sell their mahangu.
Operation Werengendje is a programme that encourages people to produce more food for the household and a surplus for selling.
“When you look at attempts that are done to address hunger poverty, it is clear that food production is at the centre of all the activities. It is against this background that we should understand the importance of Operation Werengendje,” he said. “This distribution of food is part of the implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Harambee Prosperity Plan is a strategy that will be used to make sure that we are moving towards our vision called Vision 2030. In this vision we would like to see that that every Namibian is enjoying the life he or she deserves,” Mbambo said.
“The idea of a food bank is found in the third pillar [of Harambee Prosperity Plan] called Social Progression. One of the issues that is discussed in Social Progression is hunger poverty. A number of actions will be implemented to ensure this essential ambition is achieved…”
“To the beneficiaries of the food bank programme, I would like to say: [after] you received the food and you get to a position of producing food, please come and join us in Operation Werengendje. We are waiting for you,” he added.