by Esther Mbathera
REQUESTS for food aid continue increasing at Walvis Bay as more people are losing jobs due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 2 500 people have registered for food parcels at the office of the mayor and offices of the Walvis Bay Rural and Urban constituency councillors.
Rural constituency councillor Florian Tegako says his office is inundated with requests for basic food items on a daily basis.
“These days our office is dealing very seldom with housing issues and more with requests for food. It is so bad that sometimes I have to ask the office staff to assist with their own money to help the needy,” he says.
Tegako said people seeking food from his office are from all walks of life. They are mainly seeking staples such as maize meal and flour, he added.
“It is bad. You find the person asking for maize meal although they have nothing to eat it with,” he said.
Tegako’s office recently received, N$16 000 from Namfisa employees social club to feed people in the constituency. The money was spent on food parcels that consisted of bags of 5kg flour, cooking oil, packets of soup, sugar, tea, tinned fish and some toiletries. A 5k bag of mahangu from the last emergency food from the Office of the Prime Minister was also added.
These were distributed to 27 households who recently lost their homes in the latest inferno at Twalolokatherty three other parcels were distributed to most destitute community members.
Tegako explained that more food is needed as there are only a few economic activities in the greater part of the constituency. The residents make a living mainly in the Walvis Bay Urban constituency where the open markets, shops and factories are situated.
Maria Sakaria (27), a mother of three from Tutaleni location, was among the recipients of the food parcels. Her partner who was the breadwinner, was recently laid off from work.
“I am grateful for the food. At least my children will have something to eat. However, if it is possible, I would ask the councellor to look into helping us with start-up kits for kapana or small things like sweets so that we can start small businesses. How long will he feed us,” she said.
Stanley Awaseb (42) of Namport location was not a recipient of the food parcel but he was at the office on the day it was distributed. He begged some recipients to share an item or two from their parcels with him.
“I don’t know why only some people are getting food. We are all hungry,” he said.
Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Deriou Benson said his office has also been distributing food to destitute schoolgoing children.
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes said his office has also been inundated with requests for food from families in the affluent part of the town.
The offices have been receiving emergency food from the Erongo regional council and the Office of the Prime Minister.