Kameeta officially opens Omaheke Food Bank

The minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Zephania Kameeta launched the Omaheke food distribution programme.

Following the first ever Food Bank programme in Namibia which was launched by His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob on 30 June 2016 in Windhoek; Kameeta officially opened the Omaheke food bank during the launch of the Omaheke food distribution programme held in Gobabis here Monday.

The launch of the food distribution programme, is part of one of the Government's programmes aimed at addressing hunger poverty.

The establishment of Food Banks, is one way of addressing hunger, especially in the urban and peri-urban areas. Other programmes include improving agricultural productivity, school feeding programmes and the provision of food during natural disasters such as droughts and floods.

Speaking during the launch, Kameeta noted that, the opening of the food distribution in the Omaheke Region marks yet another milestone in the quest to ensure that no Namibian goes to bed hungry or dies from hunger.

Hunger is the lowest level of poverty, it is only logical that His Excellency the President, in the Harambee Prosperity Plan, tasked the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare together with other key Government Offices/Agencies/Ministries (OMAs) to address hunger poverty. Kameeta said.

Kameeta further added saying household food insecurity is one of the major underlying causes of malnutrition, a situation that has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider household food and nutrition security as a basic human right. Addressing poverty hunger in Namibia, therefore speaks to the basic building blocks of a caring nation.

Let us use the conducive socio-economic environment provided by our President and his administration, not to fight each other, but to improve our living conditions and that of our fellow citizens. He added.

Kameeta said he knows that the concept of food provision and other social assistance programmes are often criticized as creating dependency, without putting things into perspective. However he notated that fighting poverty is fundamentally about promoting human rights, human dignity and social justice thereby ensuring that people have access to food, water, shelter, clothing and other social basic services.

One of the beneficiaries, 34 year old mother of two, Susan Mutoiwa expressed her excitement and told Nampa during an interview that she is greatful for what the government has done in remembering them.

I am very happy because of the food we received today. My children will eat very nice today.

Sandra Affrikaaner, another beneficiary told Nampa that, it is not easy for her to buy food due to the state of the country's economy and therefore she is very joyful and thankful.

The pilot programme of the Omaheke food distribution programme include the distribution of dry food items in seven Constituencies of the Khomas Region which revealed that:

The food bank intervention has a significant impact on household food security;

The food bank scheme is effective in addressing hunger especially to beneficiaries with no formal employment, given the current socio-economic situation of the country,

Source: Namibia Press Agency