24-Member Okankolo Family Starving

A STARVING 24-member San family at Onekotali village near Okankolo in Oshikoto region has called on the government for drought relief food.

Anna Kristofina David, the head of the family, told The Namibian that her house has 14 children and nine unemployed adults who are begging for food from good Samaritans.

David said that early last year when the drought was unbearable, Okankolo constituency councillor Josef Iimbili gave the family seven 10kg bags of maize meal and a box of canned fish.

She said the food was finished within a week and since then they had to struggle to get something to eat.

When The Namibian visited the family last year, David and the adults were busy preparing okaakole (edible tree worms) found in Okankolo forest to sell to buy maize meal.

“If I may tell you the truth, for many days and nights we were without food. Our children are surviving on food from dustbins in the informal settlement. It makes them sick,” David said.

Apart from food, David also said they need blankets because they sleep on the ground and risk being bitten by snakes, scorpions and other insects.

“We are not seen as human beings like others. We cannot continue surviving like this. We need assistance. We need food. We need employment. We need blankets, clothes, shoes and other basic necessities,” David said.

Although David has a plot where they can grow mahangu, she said nothing can be done on the piece of land because it is not fenced.

“We cannot do anything. This is why we are calling on the government to help,” David said.

On Christmas Eve, David called The Namibian and said: “We are sitting here without food and have not eaten for a week now. Please call our councillor and tell him to give us food. We are now starving.”

Councillor Iimbili said he was aware of food shortages, especially among the San communities in his constituency and that he was doing his best to get help for them.

He also said the government does not discriminate against the San. Iimbili further said there were efforts to provide blankets, clothes and shoes to needy families.

Source : The Namibian