A medium-security prison in northeast Namibia donated 4,000 bags of wheat on Friday to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
The 205 inmates at the Divundu Correctional Facility in the Kavango East, who produce wheat and maize, are helping to plug the financial gap created by the cash crunch and budget cuts introduced by the government since 2016.
This donation was received by several governors, who praised the correctional facility for helping the country alleviate a three-year drought.
One of those who attended the handover ceremony, the special advisor to the Governor of Kunene, Katuutire Kaura, said the donation will do a lot for the people as far as poverty eradication is concerned.
Kunene region is one of Namibia’s poorest regions that suffers the most from the effects of drought.
“It has rained a little in the Kunene Region but nevertheless people lost livestock, thus poverty and hunger still continues,” Kaura said, adding that the idea of producing food should be extended to other prisons.
Another governor, Festus Ueitele from Omaheke region, said he was excited that inmates were working hard and producing food for the nation.
“The same could be done in my region, but the challenge would be the fact that we do not have enough water,” said Oshikoto Governor Henock Kankoshi.
Eino Kapewangolo, who is the deputy minister in the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare told the gathering at the handover ceremony that the Divundu Correctional Facility has shown commitment in fighting hunger and poverty.
“This donation will contribute to Government’s efforts through the ministry tasked with eradicating poverty, making sure that no Namibian dies of hunger,” she said.
Divundu Correctional Facility deputy commissioner Metusalem Hamukwaya said last year the inmates supplied 600 tons of wheat and maize that was distributed countrywide.
Hamukwaya said 12,000 bags of maize were distributed to drought victims while 5, 000 bags of wheat went to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
Namibia has about 4,000 prisoners in 13 correctional facilities serving their sentences across the country, while hundreds others are in police custody awaiting trial.
While other prisoners and those are waiting for trial look up to the government for food supplies, prisoners at the Divundu Correctional Facility that is about 900 kilometers from capital Windhoek make their own bread.
They have also been donating several hundreds of tons of wheat to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare since last year.
The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare runs Namibia’s food bank that benefits the country’s needy members of the society.
Police stations and agriculture training colleges are also among the benefactors of Divundu Correctional Facility wheat and maize.
Nine out of Namibia’s 14 regions – Omaheke, Omusati, Oshikoto, Kunene, Oshana, Ohangwena, Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi – benefited from Friday’s donation. Enditem