Drought relief food distribution starts in Erongo

25 Jun 2013 08:20
OKOMBAHE, 25 JUN (NAMPA) ? The distribution of drought relief food commenced at Okombahe in the Erongo Region on Monday.
A number of community members gathered at the Okombahe settlement, situated about 200 kilometres from Swakopmund, to witness the commissioning of the distribution process, which is being carried out under the auspices of the disaster risk management unit in the Erongo Regional Council.
The food items to be distributed include 400 bags of maize meal, 54 boxes of canned fish, 32 boxes of cooking oil and 150 kilogrammes of fresh fish, which was acquired through donations.
A total of 322 beneficiaries which include senior citizens, breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of five, were identified by the various traditional authorities in Erongo to receive the drought relief foods.
Speaking during the ceremony, Daures Constituency Councillor Ernst Katjiku indicated that his constituency has been hit hard by two disasters namely veld fires (previously), and now drought.
He explained that this caused challenges as the communities depend on cattle farming for their livelihood.
?This intervention by Government to support drought-stricken communities could not have come at a better time,? he said.
Katjiku cautioned the beneficiaries to refrain from selling the food, and requested those eligible to apply for drought relief food to do so through their respective traditional authorities.
?Regardless of the challenges faced, the Erongo Regional Council has made tangible progress in alleviating poverty by expanding the communal area with additional farms bought adjacent to communal land for livestock to graze on,? he noted.
These areas consist of a 130 000 hectare (ha) piece of land adjacent to Omatjete for the Zerauea Traditional Authority and 10 000ha of what was previously a game farm in the Usakos area for the Oe Gan community.
He stated that the regional council further consolidated the drilling of boreholes and alternative means of water supply to areas with better grazing land.
Also speaking during the launch, Erongo Regional Council Chairperson Hafeni Ndemula indicated that a total of 10 916 people in the Erongo Region were found to be in urgent need of food.
He stated that the respective traditional authorities within the region should help ensure that the food is consumed by the beneficiaries only.
?We cannot develop when our people are hungry, because a hungry community can be an angry community which consequently will be unproductive in one way or another. We do not want anybody to die of hunger in our region,? Ndemula said.