Taking hands to address food insecurity

08 March 2018 | Agriculture

A food security survey covering about 180 000 people in four lower-income neighbourhoods in Windhoek indicated that 77% of households were food insecure. In informal settlements food insecurity is higher at 89%.

The survey was conducted in the Tobias Hainyeko, Moses Garoëb, Samora Machel and Khomasdal North constituencies. Although the African Food Security Urban Network survey was carried out in 2008, food insecurity has since then increased to 92% in the informal settlements, according to data from 2017.

While the dietary diversity score (the quality of the household diet) was low in 2008 at 5.95, it has fallen to 4.47 in 2017. In informal settlements this score fell from 4.78 in 2008 to 2.66 last year. “This indicates that most households had consumed food from fewer than four food groups in the previous 24 hours,” says Ina Neuberget Wilkie of the World Future Council.

“People need to be able to eat enough healthy and diverse food. Those who do not eat well, cannot learn well and will not work well. Food is fundamental,” she stressed.

To address this issue, a new project called Farm Okukuna, was launched in the capital in a bid to improve food and nutrition security in the city's northern settlements. This partnership is between a number of stakeholders including the Fund for Local Co-operation of the embassy of Finland, the City of Windhoek (CoW) and the Namibia Future Farming Trust (NFF).

Councillor Ananias Niizimba of the CoW said Farm Okukuna will be the centre of a number of programmes, including growing food, marketing it, supporting small enterprises and entrepreneurship, and improving nutrition. The City provided the erf, is erecting fencing and will organise basic services such as security, electricity, semi-purified and fresh water.

The NFF has already successfully established 11 aquaponic sites in Windhoek. The plan on also setting up hydro-aquaponics, with initial funding from the Finnish embassy, while community members will be trained and encouraged to use traditional methods for preserving leafy greens.

A focus point at Farm Okukuna, is permaculture. The Eloolo Permaculture Initiative has proved that this method is suitable for growing food in Windhoek's testing climate. Furthermore, they will develop systems that work on a small or medium scale and can be easily adopted and enhanced by local communities on the farm and in the informal settlements.

Although it is important for residents to start growing their own food, Antje Schidlowski of the NFF says it isn't realistic.

“There is definitely a need to stimulate urban food growing, as the statistics on malnutrition and food insecurity speak for themselves. It is however crucial to teach communities what they can do within their context, which is the purpose of Okukuna Farm.”

Not everyone is excited about the project, with some taking to social media stating that, “these people seem to be under the impression that placing a tree in a hole already made for them and then posing for a photo with shovel in hand will impress upon the people to grow their own.”

He continued, “the moment you leave, all activity will cease and the money you invest squandered. You are certainly not the first nor the last who suffer this insanity. Let's see where this project stands in two years' time. Will you pose for a photo at the ruins then?”

According to Antje, they respect constructive criticism from people who have engaged in the fight to reduce the problems of malnutrition, poverty and unemployment.

“The organisations collaborating on the Okukuna Farm project form a strong partnership and are determined to create a model for more sustainable community projects,” she says.

Similar News


Groot, groter, komkommer

1 month - 26 April 2018 | Agriculture

Die Rehoboth Gemeenskapstrust wéét hoe om groente te kweek! Hier is Amanda August, Lizetta Groenewald en Rayvonne van Wyk met hul weeklikse komkommer-oes. Hulle oes...

Groen goud uit die omgewing

1 year - 27 April 2017 | Agriculture

Mariana BaltSowat 120 km noordoos van Okahandja, in die Hochfeld-omgewing op die plaas Hartebeestteich-Süd, staan boordevol bome wat op die oog af glad nie...

Youth organise cactus clean up in Windhoek

1 year - 06 April 2017 | Agriculture

Rosalia Joseph, a Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) intern at the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), recently...

Farmers vs GM

1 year - 23 March 2017 | Agriculture

The Namibia Scientific Society presents a talk on “Farmers’ rights vis-a vis genetically modified seeds in the context of Africa” by Elize Shakalela tonight at...

Zeranol found at Okapuka feedlot

1 year - 27 October 2016 | Agriculture

Traces of Zeranol were again detected in samples of cattle urine and feed tested at the Okapuka Feedlot, Chief Veterinary Officer Milton Maseke said earlier...

Latest News

Change starts with your attitude

9 hours ago | Events

Being hailed a hero after saving a baby that had been flung from a car after an accident earlier this month, Tulonga Neputa has now...

Meat festival this weekend

9 hours ago | Events

The second edition of the /Ai //Gams Meat Festival hosted by the St Boniface RC Church, takes place at the Khomasdal stadium on Saturday.This time...

Enough money for road repairs

9 hours ago | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel - The City of Windhoek (CoW) has enough funds to repair the estimated 3 000 potholes in the capital by the end of...

Omaheke addresses major challenges

9 hours ago | Government

Yolanda Nel - Faced with enormous challenges, the Omaheke regional council and some partners have taken several strides in their quest to advance regional development.During...

WHK aquifers in the spotlight

9 hours ago | Environment

The Namibia Scientific Society, the Namibian Hydrogeological Association and the Upper Swakop Basin Management Committee invite everyone who is interested on a field trip to...

Hier word iets uit niks...

9 hours ago | People

Die rou opwinding om iets te kan skep waar daar voorheen niks was nie, bring ná jare in die bedryf vir hierdie kunstenaar steeds pure...

'n Bietjie bitter, 'n bietjie...

9 hours ago | People

Yolanda Nel - Die Namibiese nooi wat al 'n geruime tyd op Suid-Afrikaanse kassies pronk, is volgende week op eie bodem met 'n teaterstuk waaraan...

Learn to judge food here

9 hours ago | Events

In an effort to improve the culinary standards in Namibia, NamChefs is hosting a WorldChefs judging seminar in July.This first World Association of Chefs Societies...

It's a celebration!

9 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Windhoek joins the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) and the rest of the globe in celebrating World Music Day on Saturday.The official celebrations take place at...

Load More