By Hilary Mare
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has dismissed the notion held by some that food banks will create a dependency syndrome rather than outrightly solve the poverty situation.
In the aftermath of the Food Bank launch last week, Geingob reiterated that he was aware that there are those that will question the sustainability of food hand-outs and say that it will create a dependency syndrome, explaining that those people should understand that the Food Bank concept is part of an integrated Poverty Eradication Framework, which includes a Graduation Model. The intent is to ultimately break the poverty cycle and not create dependency. “There are some who may seize this opportunity not to celebrate this breakthrough moment, but rather to express their habitual criticism of Government’s developmental efforts. Many of these people never wanted us to arrive at this moment, but unfortunately for them, the spirit of Harambee is stronger than the spirit of division.
“Let me point out the following. Initially, we had grandiose ideas of constructing warehouses with state of the art cool rooms and abattoirs. However, following a number of conflicting quotes received from prospective constructors, and given the exorbitant costs quoted, after some soul searching, we realised that this would be a contradiction to our efforts of fighting poverty. It would be preposterous if Government were to build a facility which costs close to N$ 100 million while our people are going to bed on empty stomachs.
“Our efforts will involve applying different approaches in different regions. Some approaches will involve integration with drought relief activities which will involve the utilisation of existing drought relief facilities such as warehouses from where food will be distributed. Furthermore, we will endeavour to drastically improve sanitation in all regions since it is our poorest indicator on various competitive indices such as the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Index,” he said. The President also substantiated that efforts to improve nationwide sanitation will involve the installation of waterless toilets in all 14 regions.
“Our aim is to completely eliminate the need for our people to relive themselves in the bush. Where applicable, we also plan to provide ploughing and tractor services to subsistence farmers in the North, North- East, Kunene region and in the South as well as all areas where subsistence farming take place. We will ensure that no region is left out.
“Today is added proof that as a country, we are on the march in the right direction towards prosperity. At this juncture, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our local commercial and game farming community, our 10 manufacturers, our retailers, and our churches who have firmly pledged to assist the food bank concept. This patriotic display by Namibians from all corners of the country is indicative of a firm belief in a brighter future for all Namibians,” he added.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015