17 Sep 2013 09:00
KEETMANSHOOP, 17 SEP (NAMPA) A 38-year-old volunteer at the Fonteintjie Community Fish Farm at Keetmanshoop was caught after stealing eggs from the chicken coop at the project on Sunday.
Project manager Peter Simasiku confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday that he caught the woman carrying two plastic bags of eggs from the project on her way to her house.
She did not notice my car. She passed right in front of me, and I called her and confronted her about the eggs.
She claimed the eggs were cracked, thats why she took them because they cannot be sold. Only a few of the eggs she was carrying were in fact cracked, Simasiku explained.
He could, however, not say how many eggs the woman stole, nor its value.
Simasiku said he took the woman to the local police station in an effort to lay a charge of theft against her, but police officers advised him to deal with the matter himself.
Apart from fish, the project keeps 200 chickens, 10 geese and also grows vegetables to produce food and generate an income for the volunteers as well as poor community members.
This agency also learned that last week, the fish project lost 450 Tilapia fish, which died in the pond due to a lack of oxygen.
Also, two chickens were recorded missing, and it is not clear how these went missing.
Simasiku said the fish died after a volunteer accidentally switched off the oxygen pump of the pond.
The fish were about to be harvested. It is unfortunate that they all died and had to be given away to the community for free, he noted.
Crime Investigations Coordinator of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the //Karas Region, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Isaak confirmed on Tuesday that Simasiku was advised to deal with the theft issue internally as it is a minor case.
On his part, the Chief Control Officer (CCO) at the Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency Office, Bennie Diergaardt, under which the project fall, said after Simasiku approached him, the two decided to give the woman a warning not to steal again because she is a first-time offender.
Diergaardt said the incident prompted his office to put the responsibility of the chicken coop in the hands of the 12 female volunteers, including the one caught stealing.
We decided that they must now run the chicken project, and we will assist them with buying feed. They will sell the eggs to generate profits for themselves, and Simasiku will just supervise them and not deal directly with them, he stated.
Diergaardt said if no eggs are stolen, the women will be able to generate a profit of N.dollars 800 in two weeks as the hens lay about 400 eggs a week.
We encouraged them to work hard so that maybe they could be integrated into the fish project, and also receive allowances from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) in future.
We already have five men who were integrated over the past years and now receive N.dollars 2 500 per month. To me, that is a fair amount, Diergaardt said.