New Era (Windhoek)

2 July 2013

Namibia: Drought Food Rollout Going Smoothly

Windhoek — The Office of the Prime Minister says the distribution of drought food relief is progressing well with 40 000 tonnes of maize meal already disseminated to each region as an interim measure to deal with the severe drought being experienced countrywide.

Japhet Iitenge, Director of Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday revealed this when his department received over of 30 tonnes of maize meal donated by the Namibia-China Loving Heart Organisation towards drought relief work. Iitenge said the next distribution of food by the Office of the Prime Minister would be rolled out this month.

Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob, who received the donation on behalf of government, said countrywide the Aminuis and Ruacana constituencies are the hardest hit with water shortages for both animals and humans.

"I went there and Aminuis particularly has water shortages. Government has set aside N$11million for drilling and one borehole cost N$300 000," he noted.

Geingob explained that Otjinene constituency also has water shortages although the livestock are still in good condition.

With Ruacana he observed that drought food relief was not taken to needy communities timeously. "That has now been solved. Army trucks are being used to distribute the food on time. It is now just the water issue," he said.

Handing over the 30 tonnes of maize meal worth N$230 000 was Yueguan Huang, Director of the Namibia-China Loving Heart Organisation. Yueguan said his organisation is committed to offer any assistance to the Namibian government when in times of need.

He added that the organisation has so far selected six Namibian students to study medicine in China next year. He also said there are already more than 20 Namibian students studying medicine at universities in China.

Geingob said although government is committed to address the drought, it must be understood that it is a national emergency. Therefore, he called for a committed effort and a spirit of solidarity to ensure that the country overcomes the drought.

In June 2010, the Namibia-China Loving Heart Organisation donated bed quilts, mattresses and children's clothing to the value of N$112 000 to the Organisation for Empowerment of Widows and Orphans of HIV/AIDS in Namibia.

Similarly, in 2011, the organisation donated various items to flood affected Namibians.

Geingob appealed to corporate citizens and the international community to follow Yueguan's organisation and provide any assistance they can. He promised Yueguan that the donated food would reach the most severely affected communities.

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