The Governor of Ohangwena Region says he is not aware of the tons of drought aid food recently donated to the sister region of Oshana by the Embassy of the United States.
Mr Usko Nghaamwa said this in the wake of the urgent need for food assistance to people affected by flood waters in parts of Ohangwena Region.
Regional Councillor of Oshikango Constituency Mr Phillipus Namundjebo told Omutumwa that to date 45 households have been registered by his office (which is also under water) as being in need of urgent food assistance as a result of them being under water.
“We have sent their names to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Emergency Management Unit for urgent response,” Namundjebo said. “But I would not be able to say how long it will take to receive a response.”
In the meantime tons of food have been stored in a warehouse in Ondangwa where it was delivered by the US Ambassador to Namibia Ms Lisa Johnson who was accompanied by Prime Minister Ms Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on 17 February 2020.
The 85 metric tons of food would be used to feed more than 12,000 people in the region of Oshana who are affected by last year’s drought. The food consignment consists of maize meal, beans, and vegetable oil.
The food donation forms part of the N$127 million in food assistance committed by the United States to the Namibian people.
In December 2019 food distribution started in the drought affected regions of Kavango East and Kavango West. And three weeks ago the distribution was extended to the six regions of Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati, Omaheke, Zambezi and Kunene.
Strangely enough only Ohangwena Region has been excluded from the list of beneficiary regions in northern Namibia.
When asked by Omutumwa why Ohangwena was excluded, Mr Walter Parrs, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, said: “Selection of regions was based on the findings from the recently concluded Namibia Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment report (NamVAC, 2019).”
But the Governor of Ohangwena dismissed such assessment report as lacking correct information.
“Whoever did that assessment, and whoever made a decision based on such an assessment, everything they did was wrong,” Mr Nghaamwa stated.
“The drought situation affected the whole country. How can you say only Ohangwena does not need assistance?”
Flood waters coming from southern Angola and heavy rainfall over most parts of Namibia during the past weeks continue to displace many people whose homes are in lower lands.
So that the government has a responsibility to not only move the affected people to higher grounds but to also provide food assistance to them.
IN THE PHOTO: Ms Kornelia Iyambo of Okapya village in Oshana Region is happy to receive U.S. food aid for her family of five.