CoW takes steps forward in enhancing food security and nutrition

Martin Endjala

The City of Windhoek has taken significant steps in enhancing food security and nutrition in urban areas.

The plans were revealed during an AFRI-FOODLINKS City Exchange workshop in Windhoek, with 12 delegates from Africa and Europe attending.

According to the Chairperson of Economic Development, Public Safety and Citizen’s Welfare Advisory Committee, Austin Kwenani, the AFRI-FOODLINKS is a four-year initiative that aims to transform the urban food environment by strengthening inter-city linkages in Africa and Europe.

Kwenani stated that the purpose of the workshop is to stimulate mutual knowledge exchange and skills-sharing in the field of urban food and nutrition systems improvement, collaboration, and innovation. Urban agriculture.

This presents unique opportunities to explore how other cities are paving the way toward a greener, more resilient future.

He explains that CoW is seeking to foster meaningful dialogue, share best practices, cultivate, and further strengthen partnerships that will not only enhance food and nutrition security but also, accelerate economic development and environmental sustainability in urban landscapes.

“As the Chairperson of the Economic Development, Public Safety and Citizen Welfare Advisory Committee, I fully understand and appreciate the pivotal role that urban agriculture plays in ensuring food security, enhancing urban resilience, and fostering sustainable development within our community.

In a deliberate effort to strengthen food security and nutrition, the Municipal Council of Windhoek established Farm Okukuna in 2017 as an urban agricultural hub with a focus on social protection and empowerment of our residents by implementing integrated community development programs,” said Kwenani.

Since then, Farm Okukuna has evolved into a model center for capacity building, food production and entrepreneurship activities to transform the lives of beneficiaries from consumers to suppliers, thereby contributing to improved livelihoods.

He said their focus, moving forward, is to achieve improved access to markets, increasing scale of production and value addition.

Despite resource limitation challenges, they remain committed to finding sustainable solutions and partnerships for urban agriculture in the city.

Furthermore, they are currently exploring innovative practices such as vertical farming, rooftop gardens, and hydroponics to maximise the use of limited space.

Additionally, they further actively promote community gardens to increase local food production and foster a sense of community.

Moreover, he indicated that they are working to address water scarcity through the implementation of water-efficient irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting techniques.

By integrating these sustainable practices into the urban landscape, CoW aims to create a more resilient and food-secure city for all residents.

He stressed the need to harness the potential of urban agriculture to arrest the challenges of rapid urbanisation, climate change and food insecurity, cementing that they must ensure that they create a more sustainable future for generations to come.

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