Kaura yearns for food bank in Kunene

12 Dec 2016 12:50pm
OPUWO, 12 DEC (NAMPA) – The piloting of Namibia’s food bank should be done in the Kunene Region to benefit thousands of community members struggling to feed themselves, Special Advisor to the Kunene Governor, Katuutire Kaura has said.
Kaura told Nampa in an interview last week that the project, which is being piloted in Windhoek, should instead be running in the drought-stricken Kunene Region where grazing pastures have been virtually non-existent over the past seven years.
Kaura said people in the region are struggling to feed themselves and often go to bed with empty stomachs.
He said about 70 per cent of Kunene inhabitants live below the poverty line.
“We have people who have to survive on eating animal hides just to have something to fill their stomachs. The obvious hunger problem is why I still think the food bank should have been piloted here.”
Opuwo resident, Mwahopatji Mbepela told Nampa surviving has been an uphill battle after he and a family member, Mwabona Katiti lost all their livestock to drought.
They then left the village and moved to Opuwo in search of opportunities.
Kunene Governor, Angelika Muharukua told Nampa on Friday no progress has yet been made in establishing a facility for the envisaged food bank in the Kunene Region, although the process is ongoing.
Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Public Relations Officer, Lot Ndamanomhata said an assessment of the food bank pilot will be done at the end of the pilot stage to determine when the project can be rolled out to other regions.
No time frame is set, he said.
The food bank is a warehouse that stores donated and purchased food and non-food items. Every food bank is envisioned to have a group of community members recruited as agents to identify potential beneficiaries.
The food bank will initially be sourcing funding to improve sustainability of the various poverty alleviation and food support initiatives of local charities and the expansion of services to more vulnerable people by leveraging support from the Namibian private and public sector.