Hydroponics project opens at Gobabis jail

07 February 2020 | Agriculture

The Gobabis Correctional Facility hydroponic project was officially inaugurated earlier this week, with the hope that the project will become the main vegetable supplier especially for soup kitchens in and around the town.
The project is supported by the World Food Programme (WFP) in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Speaking at the event, Omaheke governor Festus Ueitele said the project came at the right time as Namibia is in need of innovative ideas to produce food while imparting skills to maintain a culture of hard work that will enable the nation to be self- dependent.
Through the project, 15 offenders and five correctional officers were trained in hydroponics – the growing of plants in a water based, nutrient rich solution instead of in soil – by the WFP.
At the same event, UNODC programme management officer Alejandro Matta said the skills acquired will assist inmates to effectively reintegrate into the community upon their release. “A critical component of the programme is fully dedicated to supporting member states to create fair, humane and effective criminal justice systems, thereby fostering the rehabilitation and social integration of prisoners,” he said.
Matta added the project not only generates new skills among the prison population but also contributes to the nutrition of the prisoners and the community at large as part of the harvest will be sold to the community to generate income and maintain the project. “Through this project, we are also actively contributing to achieving the goal on ending hunger,” he said.
On his part, the Namibian Correctional Service Commissioner-General, Raphael Hamunyela lauded the UNODC and WFP for supporting the project, saying he has no doubt that the project will become the main vegetable supplier especially for soup kitchens in and around Gobabis. – Nampa

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