KARASBURG: Councillor of the Karasburg Constituency, Paulus Ephraim, is appealing to the office of Premier Nahas Angula to reform the drought relief programme to benefit people in towns as well.
The request was prompted by the situation in his district, where many senior people and children are facing food shortages.
Speaking at his office during the distribution of food donations to 163 elderly people on Thursday, the councillor said the drought food programme focuses only on people in rural areas, but should also include poor people in towns.
Some people living in towns also do not have food, as they are unemployed and have no sources of income.
Those who receive pension grants finish it quickly on food, because there are many mouths to feed, such as grandchildren, in their households.
Others are aged younger than 60, which is the age when Namibians become eligible for State pensions.
In a bid to help some residents, Ephraim, using his own money, bought food for about 20 elderly people and children in June this year, and invited them to have lunch at his office.
“I do not want my fellow elders and children to die of hunger, that’s why I request Government to change the programme to benefit all the needy people in the country,” he noted.
The councillor said there is critique that his efforts to help these people will make them lazy and just wait for Government to feed them.
He despises this and explained that he is just trying to help those in difficult situations.
The councillor then used the opportunity to motivate pensioners to engage in selling things such as fat cake, fruit and bread in order to generate some income to feed themselves and their grandchildren.
“Do not just sit down and say you want food, try to do something to get bread on the table. I know our Government will hear us and help, but in the meantime let’s also work,” he urged the crowd of pensioners at his office.
Some residents at settlements such as Warmbad, Aussenkehr and Grünau in the Karasburg District also struggle to get food, but the situation there is not as dire as in Karasburg town.
Karasburg is located some 210 kilometres south of Keetmanshoop in the Karas Region.