The Okongo Constituency in the Ohangwena Region is making strides in the fight against drought, following its fully-fledged Omauni project that is progressing well with ensuring food security.
“Food security is our first priority in the Okongo constituency as well as ensuring that the region shy away from buying vegetables and fruit from other towns such as Etunda and Tsumeb,” said the Okongo Constituency Councillor, Efiaim Lebbius.
During an interview with this publication, the councillor stated that since his election in 2020, his main priority was to ensure food security for the region, and to date, he has observed positive outcomes so far.
Currently, the region is no longer buying vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes, to mention but a few, from Etunda and Tsumeb since the introduction of the Omauni project in 2019. The project is funded in part by the Namibia Development Fund.
Other projects such as the Omulamba project, funded by the World Food Programme, have provided opportunities for communities to harvest from these projects, thus creating much-needed food security and job creation.
Despite this positivity, the Councillor pointed out that the region has not been spared the prospect of a crushing drought.
“I am a farmer, and I can tell you right now that there is nothing in my field and we have already received reports from our constituency’s community that have been negatively affected by the drought,” Lebbius said. He called on stakeholders to come together to assist especially those people affected by drought while reiterating that the Town Council has already begun with the roll-out of a drought relief food parcel scheme to identified communities as per the list of names submitted for this purpose.Lebbius also indicated that he has written several letters to the Regional Governor’s office and the Office of the Prime Minister requesting aid for the community.
“As a councillor, I get a lot of calls from community members who are in dire need of help, and where the council cannot assist, I do it voluntarily from my own pocket to feed the community,” he said.
Additionally, he advised that projects that produce food for the community, are what many constituencies need to start prioritizing to shift the burden away from the government given the vast assistance needed by all 14 regions.
He explained that well-structured and maintained projects are what attract stakeholders to come on board to fund such projects.
He added that constituency councillors need to start ensuring that projects are well-structured and attractive.