Sixty residents of the Samora Machel constituency flocked to the councillor’s office last weekend to receive food parcels donated by a group of Samaritans led by Elina Akwenye, affectionately known as mee Mweya.
Akwenye stated that her group was saddened to learn that some people in the informal settlements go hungry for days and that many only survive by selling cans at scrap yards to earn a little income.
The group contributed money amounting to N$15 000 to prepare 60 parcels of food and lunch for less fortunate people.
“We have people who are in need, and there are times when they really need to be motivated in order to overcome life challenges. We want to inspire others to help by providing for the needy. When life gets tough, there is always an answer around the corner, but it could be someone looking for food, so always check on your neighbour,” Akwenye said.
She continued by saying that unemployed people, like everyone else, have worth in society and should not go hungry. To ensure food security and end hunger, she believes that people should meet the government halfway rather than relying solely on protocols written on paper.
“However, when you give food to others, make sure you give food that you can eat as well, not food that is spoiled or expired.”
During the distribution of food parcels, some people cried and prayed for more Samaritans to come forward as they shared stories of sleeping on empty stomachs.
Nestor Kalola, the councillor for the Samora Machel constituency, said he uses his salary to feed people who come to his office in desperate need of food, and that they usually come in unbearable conditions. He said this has gotten worse during the pandemic.
Kalola, at the handover, mentioned that his office receives five or more hungry people every day. In addition, he suggested that the government speed up to ensure food security before a humanitarian crisis occurs.
“I bring hundred dollars to work every day, so I buy them Top Score or just something to eat when they leave, especially when I don’t have any food parcels in my office.”
One of the food recipients, a 49-year-old man, stated that his family of eight people, including three primary school learners, survives like a bird.
“I was retrenched in 2003, and my wife was laid off later in 2011 in the Windhoek Municipality. Now I just help people in my area refill beer crates for N$10 to buy bread for my children.”
He stated that some days they go to bed on empty stomachs, or he asks his neighbours for something for his children to eat.
According to Kalola, this situation applies to most constituencies, particularly those that include informal settlements.