Rubbish Dump Scavenging in Namibia


It was over breakfast that I had this conversation with my parents. I mention that the discussion came up over breakfast, because to us that sounds so casual. You gather around the table to enjoy some fresh food; whether it is toast with a topping of your choice, cereal with fresh milk or a smoothie made from fresh ingredients. The point I am trying to make is that you will select your breakfast from a fridge and pantry. I suppose for the scavengers the dump is their fridge and pantry. It breaks my heart that there are people out there who do not have three square meals a day, while others stuff their gluttonous faces with unnecessary amounts of food. Do not feel bad for being able to afford to feed yourself, just keep in mind how fortunate you are to be able to do that. You pay your tax, so there really is nothing to feel guilty about.

People have been scavenging in the dump for years and suddenly there is a huge outcry about it. The food that is throw out by food-wholesalers and meat processing plants has reached its expiration date by the time it reaches the dump. These people are the uneducated and unemployed so this is their only source of food.  When given the choice to be a thief in order to put food on the table or scavenge at the dump when food that has reached its sell-by date is dumped it seems that the more noble choice would be to scavenge. With a 52% unemployment rate in the country you would think the Namibian government would be taking the necessary measures to look after the people who so loyally voted for them and trusted them. What is even more disturbing is that food retailers are happy to share the freshly made food they throw out daily if anyone is willing to collect it and distribute it each evening.

The part that really gets me is when the ministers go to hand out food to these people now that it has been brought to the attention of the nation. It can only be described as a distasteful means for gaining publicity while overfed ministers hand out food for one day only to the people they promised to help. On top of that it was also decided that the dumps would have to be fenced off to keep people out. You would think the logical decision would be to use that fence money to feed the people rather than to cut them off from their only means of survival. To all the people who are thinking ‘If you care so much then go and do something about it’ you are so right, but at the end of the day governments cannot leave their jobs up to all the little people.



4 responses »

    • Reading what some of those people have to say is heart breaking, but at the end of the day that is their life and they have adapted to it so why the government now has to jump in and make the situation worse I do not know!

  1. One small person can change the world so you could inspire a whole bunch of small people to do something. Never underestimate the power of serving others!
    Government shouldn’t leave it up to us but because we’re the only ones who will do, we should do more for others!

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