The government through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources last Thursday availed fish worth N$21 million for distribution to tens of thousands of poverty-stricken and drought-affected Namibians.
According to the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, a 12 500 metric-ton quota of horse mackerel was released to government’s National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) that in turn roped in Etosha Fishing to harvest, process and can the fish.
The quota produced about three million cans. The fish is currently being dispatched to Windhoek, laden on 44 heavy-duty trucks.
At least 2.1 million of the tins will be allocated to the Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare – the latter will receive 973 333 tins.
Esau who handed over the fish to the Deputy Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Aina Kapewangolo, said this was indeed a clear testimony and demonstration of government’s commitment to the call of President Hage Geingob as outlined in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
“My ministry is committed to support the Harambee Prosperity Plan and in particular the third pillar initiative, which is social progression, because it states the desired outcome with respect to hunger and poverty during the Harambee period: that there will be no death in Namibia that can be attributed to a lack of food,” the minister quoted from the HHP report.
Esau added that the allocation of the quota also demonstrates that government indeed cares for its citizens and is prepared to directly intervene to provide food for those in need and for those affected by drought.
The minister appealed to the private sector to also come to the table and assist government in its cause to eliminate poverty and hunger.
According to Esau about 600 000 people are affected by hunger in Namibia. He appealed to the two offices receiving the fish to ensure that it reaches people in need. Esau also called upon the relevant officials who work directly with the distribution of the donated items to put proper mechanisms in place to ensure that distributions are done in such a way that they reach those truly in need.
“Let us ensure that all the families in need of food receive it,” Esau said.
Deputy poverty eradication minister Kapewangolo who received the fish thanked the government and fisheries ministry for the gesture, saying that the fish came at the right time when so many Namibians are feeling the pinch of poverty.
“This really is a joyous moment for our ministry and the people of Namibia. I give my assurance that the fish will reach those who really need it,” Kapewangolo said.