The Vice-President of Zambia Inonge Wina has praised Namibia’s social protection system, saying that Zambia could learn from its neighbour.
“We are fascinated by how Namibia takes care of its vulnerable people like orphans and the elderly,” she said last week, during a visit to her office by Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu.
“We would like to know how it manages this. We know that it is a small country in terms of population but there’s a lot to learn from our neighbour.”
Namibia is one of the few countries in Africa that make monthly financial provision for the elderly, orphans and the physically challenged.
President Hage Geingob increased the monthly grant for pensioners from N$600 per month to N$1 000.
With Sampofu having stated earlier that the Zambezi Region in Namibia experiences perennial floods in its eastern part but lacked the necessary technology to harvest the abundant water for future use, Wina noted that Zambia too has the same challenge in its Western Province and therefore relief mechanisms were imperative.
“We also get floods in the western part of Zambia. How to use technology to recycle the water is a challenge we face. We have to find ways and means of reusing this water instead of allowing it to evaporate or flow into the rivers or oceans.”
She further called for a joint effort to restore the dilapidated Nyango camp, where countless Namibian refugees were housed during Namibia’s fight for independence.
“The Nyango area is dilapidated. This should be a joint responsibility of Zambia and Namibia to remind ourselves of how our people were taken care of during the apartheid regime of South Africa. We could also set up a farm even at Imusho so that both our people could benefit,” said Wina.
Sampofu revealed at the meeting that Namibia was contemplating building a school in the Western Province or erecting a shrine in honour of those that sacrificed their lives for freedom. The Western Province in Zambia became a refuge for many Namibians during the liberation war, including Governor Sampofu.
Sampofu was on a two-week familiarisation visit to Zambia.