GOBABIS – The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare launched the food distribution bank for the Omaheke Region on Monday in the regional capital, Gobabis.
The food distribution programme is aimed at ensuring that no Namibian goes to bed on an empty stomach or dies from hunger.
Household food security is one of the major underlying causes of malnutrition, a situation that has led the World health Organization to consider household food and nutrition security as a basic human right.
To ensure that such human right is not violated, the government of the Republic of Namibia, in the Harambee Prosperity Plan, tasked the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to address hunger poverty.
Officiating at the launch, Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Zephania Kameeta said: “I have stated on several occasions that in the Namibian context, you should be regarded as poor when you go to be hungry, when you drink dirty water from a well with livestock, when the nearby bushes are your ablution facilities, when you cannot clothe yourself and do not have a decent shelter to call home.”
“Therefore when the President decided that we should fight the war against poverty, he did not mean that we have to buy everyone luxury houses or cars, but to ensure that everyone has access to the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clean drinking water and health services.”
While education can clearly be seen as the ultimate solution to poverty eradication, if there are no equal opportunities for all, education will be evasive in improving the situation of the poor.
Kameeta further called upon all Namibians to join hands with the government in rooting out abject poverty from the Namibian nation.
“Let us use the conducive socio-economic environment provided by our President and his administration, not to fight each other, but to improve our living conditions and that of our fellow citizens,” Kameeta added. An unemployed 32-year-old mother of two, Justine Kanime expressed her appreciation to the government for the food parcels, saying at least these days they won’t go to bed on empty stomachs.
“I just hope the government will be consistent in the distribution of food like this because it is really helpful and needed,” said Kanime.”
A stern warning was given to the beneficiaries to ensure that food parcels are not sold or exchanged for alcohol and the entire community is urged to report those doing such.