NAMIBIA’S legendary spirit of volunteerism in the face of national adversity is rising with the latest initiative from the petroleum giant, Engen, who will donate five cents of every litre of fuel they sell over the next three months towards emergency drought relief.
The donation is the latest in an array of initiatives including an earlier announcement by Trustco Group Holdings that it supports the voluntary 2% contribution that was suggested by President Hage Geingob.
Engen Namibia undertook to donate N$1 million per month to the Dare to Care Foundation drought relief project under the auspices of the Namibian Agricultural Union for the next three months
With Namibia ravaged by a six-year long drought and Dr. Geingob declaring the situation a National State of Emergency, Engen Namibia heeded the calls for help and connected with the Dare to Care Foundation to assist the country’s farmers in the crisis.
“Our target is to raise N$3 million to help the country’s commercial and subsistence farmers in their hour of extreme need,” said Christian Li, Engen Namibia’s managing director during the announcement.
Li said that the oil company will from 1 June to 31 August 2019 contribute 5 cents of its revenue from every litre of petrol purchased from an Engen service station in Namibia to the Dare to Care Foundation.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, Engen is committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the social needs of the communities in which it operates. We are therefore delighted to partner with Dare to Care, to help resolve the great challenge facing Namibian agriculture and to play a role in providing some assistance where needed,” Li added.
The Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU), Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), and private sector companies have joined hands under the Dare to Care umbrella and set an ambitious collection target of N$10 million to assist all farmers currently finding themselvesin the midst of the crisis.
During the announcement Li pointed out that the money raised will not contribute to the donation of livestock feed to farmers.
“The funds generated by the initiative will be used to subsidize certain feeds to make them more affordable,” he said.
“As Engen, we hope that our 5 cents per litre of fuel sold initiative will help Dare to Care achieve their target and make feed more affordable to the farmers. In spite of the mounting challenges in the face of no rain, I am optimistic that the coming together by numerous Namibian stakeholders will achieve a substantial measure of success in assisting our farmers in this time of crisis,” Li said.
The Dare to Care Foundation was established in 2000 by members of the agricultural sector to assist victims of veldt fires. Since then it has broadened its assistance to include, amongst others, victims of floods and farm attacks as well as aiding vulnerable San people.
On behalf of the Dare to Care project, the president of the NAU, Ryno van der Merwe said the various farmers unions are exceptionally grateful for the support from Engen Namibia and expressed the hope that Namibian motorists will support the company with this initiative in order to ensure maximum revenue in the form of donations for the next three months. He further expressed the hope that other Namibian businesses will follow suit in helping to alleviate the burden of the drought stricken farmers.”
To ensure transparency and accountability in the fund’s management and subsidy allocations Engen Namibia appointed SGA Chartered Accountants and Auditors to perform a full scope financial audit on the Fund.