Food Bank launched in Otjozondjupa

Residents of the Otjozondjupa Region on Wednesday praised President Hage Geingob for establishing the Food Bank aimed at benefiting the impoverished and hungry Namibians.

The more than 500 residents here had gathered on Wednesday at Otjiwarongo to witness the official launch and first-ever actual distribution of food parcels to the beneficiaries of the Food Bank's Government Programme in Otjiwarongo and Okahandja.

The Deputy Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Reverend Aino Kapewangolo launched the distribution of the food parcels of the Food Bank programme to the Otjozondjupa residents on Wednesday.

Kapewangolo said for now it is only the identified residents of Otjiwarongo and Okahandja who will benefit from the programmes which is on a pilot.

Kapewangolo said each of the identified household will start to receive a 10 kilograms bag of maize meal, cooking oil bottles, flour, dried beans, tinned fish and beef, salt, rice, and sagar on a monthly basis.

This food bank is only one of the many ways we would like to address hunger in addition to other existing programmes such as the monthly social grants for pensioners, orphans and vulnerable children, school feeding programmes and drought relief, she said.

Therefore, let everyone join this Government effort so that the rooting out of abject poverty from the nation can become a reality, she said.

It was on this note the several residents of Otjozondjupa Region had started clapping hands and dancing to songs praising Geingob, saying his initiate is real and a true historical story that will never be forgotten by them.

Martha Garas, a beneficiary of the programme said when Geingob introduced the idea and launched it in June 2016 in Windhoek she thought it was only meant for other Namibians, not her.

But now since I am also a beneficiary, I can say it is a real story and this leader is indeed a visionary president who will rescue many of us from hunger, Garas who has never worked in her life stated.

Another beneficiary, Richard Kamuserandu, 49, from the Ombili informal settlement in Otjiwarongo also thanked Geingob for the Food Bank, saying the programme will look after many residents who cannot find employment, cultivate land and those unable to bring a meal for their families.

The Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Otto Ipinge and the Okahandja Constituency Councillor Steve Biko Booys then teamed up calling on the residents to continue clapping hands for Geingob for nearly two minutes, saying it is good that they have seem for themselves what their leader can do.

Ipinge then told these residents that Geingob's 20 per cent pledged share of his personal salary is also benefiting about 50 impoverished households in Otjiwarongo, Otavi, Kalkfeld and Grootfontein since 2016.

We are using this money from the president's salary to buy these households food parcels on monthly basis. The President is doing a good job, he has a good heart, let us clap hands for him, Ipinge said while the residents cheered and others ululated.

A total of 350 households in Otjiwarongo Constituency have been identified as the monthly beneficiaries of this Food Bank Government Programme.

According to the Otjiwarongo Food Bank street committee coordinator, Pastor John Guibeb the 350 households were identified by his committee on basis that they have no family member with a formal employment or receiving money from the Government's existing social grants.

Source: Namibia Press Agency