The regional council has registered 38 116 Ohangwena residents severely affected by the recurrent drought to benefit from the government's drought relief programme.
This was revealed by the Ohangwena Chief Regional Officer, Fillipus Shilongo yesterday (Tuesday) at the handover of food items by Pupkewitz Foundation, in Eenhana.
Shilongo said the region which is densely populated with 245 445 residents has a large number of people starving, and regrettably, the system is only able to allocate food to about 3 314 beneficiaries at present.
"38 116 people who are severely starving are registered, but we are only receiving food items for 3 314 people, which is a very big challenge. Even if we receive food, we still have so many people we are unable to accommodate with drought relief," said Shilongo.
Handing over the food donations which included tinned fish, cooking oil and speckled beans, worth N$ 13 122.22, on behalf of Pupkewitz Foundation, Unique Kohlman said, regardless of what the country is going through, the company is ready to assist wherever it can, resources permitting.
"At Pupkewitz Foundation, we are meeting the government halfway as this is the only way we can move forward as a nation," stressed Kohlman.
He added that this initiative will be rolled-out to other regions.
Moreover, the Ohangwena CRO thanked the donors for their generosity. He added that the donated items are indeed a big assistance to the government, as they will be given to those who are registered but have not been catered for yet.
Additionally, Shilongo stressed that with drought being experienced across the country, Ohangwena is also overcrowded with livestock, as the majority of farmers from neighboring regions have moved their livestock to the region in search for better grazing opportunities.
Currently, there are about 4 500 cattle from other regions, as per report from Veterinary Services.
"We have only counted the cattle then the cattle herders is another addition to the population. We also have to look at them, as we have to ensure that no one should die of hunger," said Shilongo.
He called on other Good Samaritans to follow suit in meeting the government halfway.
*Hilma Nakanduungile is an information officer at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) stationed at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region.