San resort to wild fruits for survival

Home National San resort to wild fruits for survival

WINDHOEK – Lack of sufficient food supplies have forced San families in the Zambezi Region to feed on wild fruits as a means of survival.

Some parts of the Zambezi Region have also not been spared by drought, which led to many people not having enough food due to crop failure caused by erratic rains. 

Kongola Constituency Councillor David Muluti told New Era the rains have been erratic, with some areas receiving rains while others are dry. 

He said most affected areas are Masambo, Chetto and Ndoro Memorial where the San communities live.
The affected communities normally receive three bags of maize meal, tin fish and cooking oil per household from the government.

“These San-speaking people in these areas are mostly feeding on wild fruits. I went there to assess the situation and there is no food. They used to receive drought relief food but currently they are not getting any food. The process has stopped. I don’t know what happened,” Muluti said. 

Zambezi Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee Chief Regional Officer, Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, could not comment and referred New Era to the Office of the President under which the department of marginalised communities falls.
Contacted for comment, Esdrus Kaseba in the Office of the President under the division of marginalised communities in the Zambezi Region said his office does not deal with drought relief programmes as this is the responsibility of the Office of the Prime Minister.

“Our office is dealing with the marginalised feeding programme, and this has not stopped at all. We are continuing to serve these people at all means and cost. We are committed to continue feeding them. We received tinned fish and cooking oil, but are still waiting for maize meal so that we start the distribution as usual,” Kaseba reacted.

Furthermore, he said these food items are supplied through private companies that have to buy maize and do the milling themselves. 

He reasoned that it recently took a bit of time to get things done it was during the December holidays but now they are working on the matter. 
On the allegations that the San are feeding on wild fruits, Kaseba said: “I can’t comment but I am aware that there are a number of people that are getting social grants from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare and are buying bags of maize meal when food is not supplied on time.”

 He said his office remains committed to supplying food to the marginalised communities.