By Anna Shilongo
Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings Company, school children, a welfare organisation and individuals donated goods, food and money towards the relief of people in the flood-stricken areas.
Officially handing over a cheque of N$100 000 to the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Libertina Amathila, the Board Chairman of Nampost and Telecom Holdings Company, Steve Motinga, said his company learnt about the plight of flood victims through the media.
Being corporate citizens, Motinga said they decided to contribute to the victims’ wellbeing.
“The extent of damage caused by flooding to the infrastructure and lives of citizens in the affected areas is a heart-rending story. Victims’ lives change overnight as we saw in both Mozambique and the other countries of Southern Africa affected by similar floods,” he said.
He applauded the Deputy Premier’s effort in coordinating the assistance of the flood-affected people.
“We sympathise with the plight of the affected citizens and appreciate the relief measures taken by `government. We want to play our part and hope the small donation this morning will bring some relief to the affected families,” stressed Motinga.
At the same time, a group of school children from the Holy Cross Convent also donated shoes, clothes, blankets, sweets, Chocolates and imperishable food to the affected children in the north.
“During the last two weeks, local media have shown heartbreaking photographs of people in the northeast who have lost everything in the floods. It has been terrible to see the plight of children who have no food, clothing or blankets. The children have even been cut off from schools,” said one child at the handover ceremony yesterday.
In total, Holly Cross Convent children donated goods valued at N$2 000 while Woolworths sent two boxes of chocolates and sweets to the affected children.
“Our gifts coincide with the celebration of both Easter as well as our Independence Day. We hope that our donation will lift the hearts of our fellow children in the north and make them realise that we care. We will continue praying for all the people in the flood-stricken areas,” said the children.
Meanwhile, Hobus Shuffle and Tours pledged N$10 000 towards the wellbeing of flood victims, while another welfare organisation, Family Worship Centre led by the late Pastor Frans Andrias Coetzee who passed away earlier this week, donated blankets.
NTN, an overnight transport company, also extended a helping hand yesterday. The company pledged to facilitate the transportation of donated goods at no cost. Amathila welcomed the donations.
“It gives me great joy and pleasure when the public and private sector companies join hands and stand firm behind the developmental initiatives of Government,” said Amathila.
Amathila, who is a goodwill ambassador of the Namibia Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), said during the past months the nation has seen scary pictures in the press and on TV of the flood situation in the north where people are homeless.
She said children are affected and they are often the most vulnerable. They are exposed to the cold night temperatures and to all sorts of illnesses such as cholera, malaria and other waterborne diseases.
“We as parents have a huge responsibility to protect our children at all costs, that’s why I am often moved by the generosity of the Namibian people, ” she stressed.
“I can assure you that your humble donations will, undoubtedly, be put to good use and I have no doubt that Namibia is taking note of your corporate social investment strategy, which I guarantee you excellent returns on,” she added.
She said the role of Government is clear. Government cannot do things by itself. The private sector needs to join hands and confront challenges with the Government.
Amathila is of the opinion that if Namibians continue to work together, the country is capable of becoming a role model for many African countries that may wish to emulate her example. She was also impressed and touched by the children’s donation.
“I have not seen such an innocent gesture in a very long time where children of one school collected items to this value, for their peers who, in all likelihood, have to stay home because the roads to school are flooded and their schools are under water,” she said.
She said the country is entering an important season of religious life, where Christians are expected to make personal sacrifices and open their hearts to give up some of the things they have in abundance.
“The children helping children project of the Convent is a shining example of the letter and spirit of the Easter season. I must confess that I am attracted by your beautiful hearts and minds,” she said.
About 1 200 people in the north are being sheltered. The Deputy PM is impressed by the discipline at these shelters. She said up to now there has been no criminal activities reported, or people stealing from one another.
“The people have peace and they love one another. I was impressed by their discipline, I must say we are lucky as Namibians.”
She said the water level is still high. Ondangwa received heavy rains on Tuesday.
She expressed concern about waterborne diseases, especially at Oshikango.
” You can imagine how Oshikango looked like before the floods. The people in this area are more at risk compared to other flooded areas.”