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Namibians feared food shortages during height of Covid-19

Namibians feared food shortages during height of Covid-19

Staff Reporter


FOOD security, especially with the closure of the border between Namibia and its major import partner South Africa, was a major concern during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 60.8% of Namibian households stating that they were worried about having enough food.


This is according to a survey conducted by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) to determine how Namibian households have coped living with the disease and the impact it has had on their everyday lives.


The first case of Covid-19 was recorded in Windhoek on 13 March 2020 when a Romanian couple visited the country.


Since then, the virus has spread to all 14 regions.


A year later, the NSA conducted a telephonic study with a total of 7 002 households to take part in the survey.


From this number, 3 648 households were successfully reached and interviewed in both rural (54.2%) and urban (45.8%) areas respectively, with a response rate of 52.1%.


In their findings, the NSA stated that the survey tried to determine the food security of the households in the 30 days preceding the survey.


“The study indicated that an estimated 60.1% of the interviewed households indicated that they were worried about having enough food, 60.8% reported that they ate only a few kinds of food, while 59.9% reported that they were unable to eat healthy and nutritious food. On the other hand, 36.3% of households reported that they went without eating for a whole day,” the NSA said.


In addition, the majority of households that took part in the survey were generally aware of and adhering to the regulations put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


Individuals adopted preventative measures such as handwashing (86.1%), face-covering (96.6%), avoiding large gatherings (78.2%) and avoiding handshakes (84.3%) to curb infection.


Of those surveyed, 90% of the households had water to wash hands a week prior to the survey.


For those who could not afford to wash hands, it was mainly due to reductions in water supply (33.8%), inability to afford water (13.0%) or a total lack of water supply (15.8 %).


About 7.3% of the population surveyed who were working before the onset of Covid-19 experienced job losses due to the pandemic.


The main reason people cited lost jobs was due to business closure because of Covid-19 restrictions (47.6%) introduced by the government.


Others were laid off while business continued, 18% in urban and 12% in rural areas.


IMPACT OF COVID-19: Picture for illustrative purposes only.

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