By John Ekongo
The Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) recently engaged its stakeholders in efforts to lend a helping hand towards those affected by the floods in the north and northeastern regions of the country.
The chamber last week held a stakeholders’ meeting where it solicited support from members to get aboard its envisaged flood assistance programme code-named “Project Efundja”.
If rubberstamped, the NCCI is hoping that it can launch the project on April 11 in the north.
Through the project, stakeholders will seek and gain understanding of the basic needs of affected communities and businesses before fundraising and mobilising resources to mitigate their situations.
The project will be multifaceted – on one hand it aims to raise additional funding for flood victims and on the other it will facilitate assistance to affected businesses as well.
Where necessary, the NCCI will facilitate assistance to affected businesses via possible interventions such as reviewing of financing obligations with banks, possible waivers of municipality bills and other assistance packages that could be offered by local authorities.
The project will be in place until the affected businesses have recovered and are able to stand on their feet again.
Apart from this, the chamber is also looking at humanitarian involvement from its members in assisting flood-affected communities.
The chamber is hoping that some of its members will do voluntary onsite reconstruction activities, donate earth-moving equipment towards rehabilitation of infrastructure damaged by floods, once the water has subsided.
“We also want to look behind the cheque and provide a human face involvement in Project Efundja, even if it is assisting in painting a school or physically being there to help in what way we can,” said Tarah Shaanika, Chief Executive Officer of the NCCI.
So far, a few businesses have pledged their support towards Project Efundja, with New Era Publications Corporation having indicated a strong commitment towards the project. Other companies such as Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTC), Telecom Namibia, and J&P Group have also strongly affirmed their interest in the initiative.