15 June 2012

Namibia: Food Banks for Hungry

DEPUTY Prime Minister Marco Hausiku says he and his team of officials are hard at work to find a solution to the embarrassing situation of impoverished Namibians scavenging at dumpsites.

The creation of food banks for these people is in the pipeline and Windhoek might soon have a central place for dumping unwanted food, after which it will be implemented at other towns.

Food consigned for dumping will now be brought to the food banks where they will be distributed properly to the needy.

Hausiku and a technical committee studied the reasons why people turn to dumpsites and compiled a report on the situation in Windhoek.

"A presentation on the creation of food banks for the people was made last Thursday and that might be a solution to many of the problems. This is also the most important recommendation that was made in the final report which is nearing completion," Hausiku told The Namibian.

He said his office will consult with the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Windhoek Mayor Elaine Trepper, Khomas Governor Samuel Nuuyoma and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nangula Mbako, as well as other stakeholders before the food banks will be established.

"The aim is to get the one in Windhoek off the ground within the next month or two, after which the other towns will follow. The idea is to get a central place such as at the office of Disaster Management in Katutura where all the food could be dumped. Then these people don't have to visit the dumpsite. It is important that good practices should be put in place at all the towns."

He said the food banks will be managed by Government in cooperation with non-governmental organisations.

In the meantime, Government continues training some of the dumpsite people and enlisting some in State programmes.

According to Hausiku, the money to be spent on the dumpsite people will be within the budgetary framework.

During the investigation it was found that the majority of the people have no or little education and that poverty drives them to the dumpsites. Some of them are living at the dumpsites and have erected shacks there.

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