Dry Swakop river invaded by fish
The people of Otjimbingwe came out in droves to attend a ceremony last week where they received a large gift of canned pilchard from Walvis Bay fishing company, Hangana Seafood. Otjimbingwe is one of the oldest permanent Herero settlements. Many of the families living there today are fourth generation descendants of the first indigenous people that came to this German missionary station. Situated on the banks of the dry Swakop river, Otjimbingwe and its residents are severely affected by a lack of grazing for their animals and staple for themselves due to the drought.
Despite the prevailing droughts and the hardships it brings to the communities of the interior, the residents of Otjimbingwe came together last week to celebrate. Hangana Seafood, a Walvis Bay company in the Ohlthaver & List stable, donated 8250 cans of pilchard to the struggling community to complement their daily protein rations.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Bernhard Esau accepted the donation from Hangana Seafood Managing Director, Herman Theron, on behalf of the community at a special ceremony at the Da Palm Junior Secondary School.
The minister lauded Hangana saying those companies that share in the right to catch fish have an obligation to share their products with the less fortunate, and that this is an important component of Corporate Social Responsibility in the fishing industry.
One of the key objectives under the social pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan is that no Namibian should go hungry. “We in the fisheries sector are keen to make our rightful contribution to realize this initiative” said the minister pointing out that fish is a nutritious source of high quality proteins and omega-3 amino acids which is just what a person experiencing hunger and malnutrition needs. “It would be a pity if such vulnerable persons were to receive protein-rich food donations from overseas, and none from our own fisheries right here in Namibia. They say charity begins at home, and we in the fisheries sector take this message seriously.”
Theron emphasized that in line with the O&L Group purpose of ”Creating a Future, Enhancing Life” for all Namibians, Hangana Seafood supports a diversity of programmes to minimize negative impacts, while maximizing its contribution to advance the communities within which the company operates. Said Theron: “As a responsible and caring corporate citizen, we support national issues such as the current drought dilemma that has an effect on each of us here today – whether directly or indirectly. Hangana Seafood is therefore proud to have taken a stand to assist government to better the conditions of those affected by this ordeal. As a proudly Namibian establishment, we see it as duty to contribute and make a difference where we can. I trust that this humble donation will make a difference and that it will strengthen the minds and bodies of those that will benefit from it.”
Theron challenged other corporates to join the struggle to fight the effects of the drought and to help support those in need. “I would also like to commend the government for its efforts in addressing this matter. Your leadership in this regard inspires us to contribute in making a difference.”
Of the 3500 households at Otjimbingwe, 1500 have been identified by the office of the Prime Minister’s Vulnerability Assessment unit as critical in terms of food security. These 1500 households will benefit from the donation by Hangana Seafood together with the monthly maize and fish supplements provided by the government.