Aminuis households bemoan 'meagre' drought aid

20 Aug 2013 09:00
AMINUIS, 20 AUG (NAMPA) – Drought-stricken communities in the Omaheke Region’s Aminuis Constituency only receive a bag of semi-refined maize meal with no relish on a monthly basis under the drought relief programme.
Various residents in the constituency told Nampa on Monday the current drought relief efforts were not sufficient to address the dire situation, in which many families are reportedly on the brink of starvation due to the prevailing drought.
According to them, drought has resulted in residents losing livestock - which serve as their only means of livelihood - as they succumb to a lack of grazing.
They are however of the opinion that Government’s efforts to lessen the burden on them have been insignificant as the single bag of maize meal allocated to each family member per month hardly helps.
“What can a person possibly do with a single bag of maize meal? Why don’t we get cooking oil or tins of fish as we used to before? To make matters worse, this maize meal is not even sifted enough for human consumption,” Heroldt Mbaukua, a local farmer in the constituency, said.
Traditional leaders have also bemoaned the current drought relief efforts in the constituency, which they claim have been insufficient against the prevailing drought conditions.
Traditional leaders representing two of the foremost traditional authorities in the Aminuis Constituency (the OvaHerero Traditional Authority and the OvaMbanderu Traditional Authority) said the food which is distributed as drought relief was too little to cater for its intended purpose.
Othniel Kavari, a senior traditional councillor in the OvaMbanderu Traditional Authority in Aminuis, told this news agency upon inquiry that drought-stricken communities in the constituency deserve more than a single bag of maize meal to ease the burden of drought.
“It is unimaginable that Government expects people to survive on a single bag of maize meal for an entire month. Who takes maize meal without any relish or meat? Something needs to be done if Government really cares for its people,” Kavari said.
Jatura Katuuo, a senior traditional leader under the OvaHerero Traditional Authority echoed Kavari’s words, calling on Government to increase drought relief contributions to the region.
Katuuo indicated that the current drought relief contributions are also not constant, as villagers often go for months on end without receiving such food.
Efforts to get comment from the Office of the Prime Minister, which administers the Drought Relief Programme, proved futile.