Okahandja Park Residents bemoan Food Bank Exclusion

Gam children smallerSome residents of Okahandja Park are bemoaning what they say is their exclusion from the newly-initiated food bank programme launched last week by President Hage Geingob in Tobias Hainyeko Constituency.

Last week New Era reported on the plight of a 42-year-old woman who had not eaten for four days because she had no food at home. Unemployed Fransina Lamek, who lives with her 18-month-old daughter, showed up at her neighbour’s home requesting she cook for her as she was starving. Lamek along with Emilia Mupunga, 32, a mother of five, and Ndatelela Kashela, a mother of three, showed up at the community activist Cornelia Hangula’s home in Okahandja Park informal settlement complaining about not having any food, and wanted something to eat.

A man also showed up but preferred not to be identified by the newspaper. The food bank programme is a government initiative aimed at ending hunger and extreme poverty through food purchases, collection and distribution to poor and vulnerable people in the country who simply cannot afford meals. However, during the registration process in the constituency the four people were not included. The women also sought assistance from the councillor’s office but were unsuccessful.

“They are not registered in that programme. We don’t know how this programme is working and it is unfair that they are left out,” stated activist Hangula. Following the article’s publication, good Samaritans donated food to the women last weekend. Victor Shimakeleni and Aufia Kamwe contributed money and bought food that cost over N$1 000 for the desperate women. “This (contribution) is from the bottom of my heart. This is not stolen money,” said an emotional Shimakeleni. Another donor, Onesmus Sackeus, 24, a Namcol student put additional food worth N$1 000 on the women’s tables when he personally delivered food to them, and so put a smile on their faces.

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