A solution for starvation
Hunger takes its toll
03 August 2020 | Local News
Jade McClune; Community activist; “We urge government to combat the hunger crisis by allocating fish parcels to the poor…”
A community activist of the Swakopmund Citizens Association, Jade McClune, demands that government donates fish parcels to every Namibian household once a month to end the hunger crisis.
Speaking at a petition handover that took place at Swakopmund’s DRC informal settlement, McClune said that Namibia has enough fish resources to take care of its population.
The petition was addressed to the office of the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongwela-Amadhila and the minister of fisheries and marine resources Dr Albert Kawana. The governor of the Erongo region, Neville Andre, was not available to receive the petition on government’s behalf.
“We call on government to give to the Namibian people what belongs to them. We also urge government to combat the hunger crisis by allocating sufficient fish parcels to the poor, the elderly, the destitute and the needy.”
McClune said this is the right thing to do, and that time is of the essence.
“Government has the legal authority and moral responsibility to ward off the famine that is ravaging our communities by any means necessary,” he said, adding that many households have lost their main source of income following the government-imposed restrictions under the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations.
“Thousands of workers have lost their jobs in the past few months, while hundreds of businesses have closed down due to the collapse of the economy. There have also been reports from social workers that a number of children have been admitted to the Swakopmund state hospital in recent days because their families are now totally destitute and can simply no longer afford to feed them.”
On 25 May, a woman from Arandis died of hunger a day after being admitted to the Swakopmund state hospital, leaving behind two small children.
“It is tragic that our people should die of hunger while Namibia exports 95% of its fish produce. According to a report in 2015 by American news network, CNN, the Erongo Fishing Company supplies about 8 million people around the world with Namibian horse mackerel daily.”
McClune said it would forever tarnish the legacy of the current administration if it were to stand and watch Namibia’s people perish in their homes from hunger while vast amounts of fish are shipped abroad for the benefit of a few corporations.
He was adamant that the country is now in danger of losing many of its most vulnerable people to the scourge of hunger and starvation.
“This is something that is entirely unnecessary and avoidable, given the vast fish resources available in Namibian waters. We regard it as a form of torturing the poor. We fear that the hunger crisis will worsen unless we tackle it with great urgency to avoid the further loss of life.”
He said that they had been informed that there is a large amount of fish being held in cold storage in Walvis Bay.
One of the recipients of food hampers distributed at the event, Launa Lameck (33), expressed her gratitude and asked that it become a monthly initiative. The parcel included horse mackerel and a bag of maize meal.