Namibia is known to be one of the countries in southern Africa where hunger is still widespread and children continue to suffer from malnutrition.
Many children go to bed on an empty stomach.
This is not because there is no food in the country. It is because our system, institutions, habits and attitudes all conspire against the small children whose parents are still disadvantaged in the Namibian society.
Namibian and foreign fishing companies feed millions of people around the world everyday with fish caught in Namibian waters. Namibia has the best beef in the world and supplies it to the EU, the US and China. But reports indicate that over 40% of Namibians are chronically undernourished.
This is such a scandal of greater proportions indeed.
Hunger and malnutrition are such terrible demons for any society because not only do they affect the physical health of people, they do also affect mental health.
Chronic hunger and malnutrition retard not only the physical growth of a child but also mental growth. Children who grow up in home environments where nutritional food is rare are the same children who do poorly academically. It is because their mental capacity has been retarded by malnutrition.
The future of such children has been compromised as a result. Even if they don’t die physical death, surely their future has died. Their prospect for a better life has died. They grow up into adults who are unable to live a meaningful and successful life.
They will bear children and make their own families and continue the cycle of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Now this unfortunate wave of corona virus is sure to hammer the last nail in the coffin of these 40% people who live in environments of food insecurity. By the end of the year the figure is set to increase, and lead to a calamity of unforeseen proportions.
At Omutumwa we are calling on all the leaders, policy-makers, and the movers and shakers of the Namibian society to take action right now while it is winter. Or else by summer we will be sitting on the fence witnessing a bigger section of the population wasting away and dying not from corona but just hunger and malnutrition.