Govt will not allow anyone to die of hunger – Nandi-Ndaitwah

DROUGHT IMPACTS … Namibia is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in living memory. Photo: Stu McKenzie/Daily Mail

Vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says the government will make sure nobody dies of hunger during this year’s drought.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said this at the third edition of the Ehao Cultural Expo Fundraising Gala dinner at Okahao on Friday, where she was the keynote speaker.

Namibia is facing its worst drought in 100 years, induced by the El Niño phenomenon, which is also affecting Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. These countries have all declared a state of emergency over drought.

The gala dinner was held under the theme ‘Embracing Business Activities Through Culture and Innovation’ and raised a total of approximately N$641 795 in pledges.

President Nangolo Mbumba last month asked that the police demonstrate lenience to those importing mahangu from Angola to avert the effects of drought.

The president, recently speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ondonga Heritage Shrine, said small-scale importers should be permitted to cross borders freely and Namibians should be allowed to buy staple food from Angola to avert local shortages due to drought.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform said Namibians importing pearl millet (mahangu) from Angola for personal use during the ongoing drought may bring in four 50 kilogramme bags of the product per month.

Small-scale importers are allowed to import between 250kg (five bags of 50kg) to 500kg (10 bags of 50kg) of agronomic products (grain) per person per month for commercial use and a maximum of 200kg (four bags of 50kg) per person per month for personal use.

Meanwhile, Nandi-Ndaitwah called on all Namibians to ensure they send their children to school.

“It is equally important that at schools, we must strengthen career guidance to ensure that once one has completed their studies, that person is able to get a job and equally important, to become a job creator through innovation,” she said..

“I am visualising Okahao hosting a specialised institution of higher learning with a strong innovation centre. I really feel this is possible . . . and I am now throwing it to our young people, to our business people, to take up this challenge.

“The government will give permission for that to be done,” she said.

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