Our poverty and hunger shame

14 September 2018 | Columns

It is extremely hard to fathom that food insecurity affected a worrying one million Namibians by 2017, compared to 500 000 in 2006.

The new stats published in the 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 report further revealed that the Namibia's undernourished population, which stands at almost 40%, was higher than the African average of 25.4%. It is beyond comprehension that Namibia, of all nations, is struggling to make huge progress in eradicating extreme poverty, despite the enormous emphasis placed on agricultural productivity.

The tragic figure of one million is a big disappointment to a country that has made everyone believe it is doing extremely well in terms of combating high poverty levels.

Interestingly, other developing African nations are now able to meet the nutritional needs of its poor population sections, despite the frustrating challenges they have to contend with on a daily basis. Poverty and the lack of availability of adequate amounts of nutritious food is one of the underlying factors that has pushed Namibia into its current malaise. We have so many unemployed young people and many Namibians are also not paid enough to rise above the poverty line. At the end of the day people are too poor to obtain enough food. There is so much social instability and the inequality, especially in rural areas, is unacceptably high. For a nation that prides itself as being a model for democracy, where peace and stability is emphasised more than anything, we ought to do more to arrest this disconcerting trend.

This entrenched inequality threatens our future and that of our children, and if we don't come up with tangible action plans, including addressing the land issue and focusing on ensuring food security for all Namibians, then we can forget about ending hunger in our country.

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