The Ohangwena Regional Executive Committee of NANTU has called on teachers to come up with backyard gardens and raise goats and pigs and adopt a culture of food self-reliance.

In a wide-ranging letter distributed to the union’s branches and social media platforms a week ago the chairperson of NANTU in Ohangwena Mr George Hafilwa pointed out that some of the pertinent issues which will receive urgent attention during the year are such as: “Self-reliance on food security; quid pro quo; the essence of reading policies; GIPF/SSC; and solidarity with other workers”.

“Dear Comrades, while pushing forward, we need to adopt the culture of self-reliance. Let us come up with backyard gardens, growing small livestock and do pertinent things that would give us food.

“Food security is a collective effort of all citizens. Consistently buying of onions, tomatoes or cabbages, etc., from shops cost more than having a backyard garden, more especially now that we have plentiful of rain water,” Hafilwa said in the letter.

“Seasonal cultivation of traditional crops, horticultures and small gardening can significantly contribute to our desire for food security in our country and specifically alleviate the burden of dependence on buying from exploitative multinational shops commodities that we can easily produce on our own. We should explore that route too to supplement our earnings as educators.”

Hafilwa further stated that the union’s leadership will not leave a stone unturned in their fight for better working conditions for their members.

“We are pleased to indicate to you comrades that we are not afraid to push issues forward and enable the desired changes for the benefit of all members. Within the two years (2019 and 2020) of our leadership, we have revoked the selective limits of teachers transfer in the middle of the year by the Directorate of Education; we have overcome the corrupt and unfair practices in promotion posts through calculated deals and organized interviews by the Directorate officials.

“We have caused a number of schools to be installed with potable water, renovated ablution facilities and other infrastructure development.

“We have represented members whole-heartedly and won a number of cases of misconduct leveled against our members. We shall give details of other achievements through our structures.

“Moving forward, we shall continue to advocate for better working conditions for our members.

“Teachers at schools without reliable water supply and toilet facilities should organize and take steps on ‘No Potable Water and No Toilet Facility No School’. The agreement based on COVID-19 measures and the SG letter can be retrieved and be evoked.”

[The rest of the issues raised in the communication will be reproduced in the next article.]

In the photo: Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU)’s Ohangwena Regional Chairperson Mr George Hafilwa.