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Water installation works support food security

Members of the Tusano project look on while Solastica Mbambi (chairperson of Mabushe support group), Rudolf Visagie (area sales manager of NBL), David Hamutenya (personal assistant to the Kavango Regional governor), Lavinia Shikongo (country director for SFH) and John-Bosco Katjiua (from SFH) test the new watering installations sponsored by Namibia Breweries Limited. Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) recently supported the Society for Family Health (SFH) in Mabushe Village by sponsoring water installation works valued at close to N$ 40,000. The project, which forms part of the Support to People Living with HIV (PLHIV) initiative, enhances food security and therefore helps to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.
At the official opening of the water works, David Hamutenya, who represented Maurus Nekaro, governor of the Kavango region, commended NBL and said that it was the first time support of this nature had been given in that region by a Namibian private sector company.
NBL complemented the work of the main donor, the Global Fund by procuring tank stands for 14 support group gardening projects which are located in the Omusati, Oshana, Kavango and Caprivi regions.
SFH supports 114 support groups in nine regions of the country, of which 21 receive technical assistance on income generating activities. Besides comprehensive psychosocial support which is part of SFH’s curriculum, they are also supporting gardening and nutrition related activities, primarily as an immediate intervention to meet the nutritional needs of PLHIV.
Patricia Hoeksema, corporate social investment manager at the Breweries, reiterated company’s commitment to the communities and said: “Seeing the garden, and the water works fully functional was really impressive and provided a true sense of joy at being able to support a worthy initiative that is well coordinated, and excellently executed. And what made it even more special was seeing the project members and how they have embraced a positive lifestyle and attitude – a truly humbling experience – thank you so much.”
Lavinia Shikongo, country director of the Society for Family Health, said that so far the project has turned into an income generating activity for 21 support groups, as some of the support groups are producing more than they require for their own domestic consumption.
She said: “Nutrition plays a critical role in comprehensive care and support for PLHIV as it helps to minimise/manage symptoms, promote response to medical treatment, slow progression of disease and increase quality of life, including management of Post Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT).”
Shikongo urged other private sector companies to do the same.  “They say ‘charity begins at home’, look around your communities – and plough back where you can. Interventions against HIV are needed.”

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