“Even in this uncertain time, we can still find reasons for hope. Seeing compassionate Namibians from all corners of the country rallying as one nation to support the community of Twaloloka who tragically lost their homes and lives following the tragedy that unfolded this past Sunday, gives me hope that humanity can overcome difficult times like now”, says Marco Wenk, Managing Director of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group.
On Wednesday, 29 July 2020, Wenk – represented by the NBL Area Sales Manager, Peter Zerbe, – handed over a donation of 450 tents to the value of N$ 1, 103 549 to the Walvis Bay Town Council and the Walvis Bay Roundtable 36 dealing with the response and recovery efforts, in aid of providing temporary shelter following the devastating fire that left more than 400 people of the Twaloloka informal settlement in Walvis Bay, homeless. Fifteen (15) tents were allocated to O&L employees of the Group’s subsidiaries, Pick n Pay Namibia and Hangana Seafood, who lost their homes and belongings. “In line with our Purpose ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ and our values like ‘We all serve’, our people’s health, safety and wellbeing is top of our priorities and therefore it is only befitting that we take care of them and fellow community members who are exposed to the elements following this tragedy”, said Wenk. NBL pledged a further N$ 50,000 worth of Aqua Splash water for distribution by the Roundtable.
The Mayor of Walvis Bay who received the donation on behalf of the Town Council, Alderman Immanuel Wilfred, expressed his gratitude and commended government; businesses; individuals and the community of Walvis Bay as well as the rest of the country for their support during these trying times. “While we are still reeling in shock following the aftermath of the devastating fire at Twaloloka this past Sunday-night, it is heart-warming and reassuring to see how Namibians across the lengths and breadths of our country have dug deep into their pockets to assist in coming to the rescue of our people, providing hope in a time as uncertain as this. I would like to recognize and appreciate Namibia Breweries for this wonderful gesture and generous contribution to the plight of the people of Twaloloka which I am sure will go a long way. Indeed, you have again demonstrated how you remain true to your purpose ‘Creating a future, enhancing life.”
In light of the Erongo region currently being the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor went on to encourage and motivate responsible behaviour especially under the existing circumstances. “As if the impact of COVID-19 on our people and community isn’t enough, this tragedy literally pulled the rug from under our feet. But, we are not defeated! Let us remain even more responsible now by adhering to the regulations that are in our best interest. I am confident that, like a phoenix we will rise from the ashes, undestroyed and ready to rebuild with strength and resilience our community and our beautiful Namibian harbour town, Walvis Bay”, said Alderman Wilfred.
Namibia Roundtable Area Vice-Chairperson and Walvis Bay Roundtable International & Public Relations Officer (I/PRO), Jens van Vuuren also expressed their gratitude to NBL and various corporates, Government, and members of the community who responded positively to their call for help. “We at Walvis Bay Roundtable are committed to the upliftment of our fellow brothers and sisters. The response to our call for help has been overwhelming and truly inspiring, and we are filled with gratitude for this generous, life changing contribution and all the support which enables us to together serve our fellow Namibians in need, something we are passionate about. “
The 450 NBL sponsored tents were transported from Windhoek by EEW Logistics. The NBL donation is further complemented by various other efforts emanating from within the O&L Group. Pick n Pay Walvis Bay and Strand Hotel Swakopmund are preparing meals daily for the affected, while O&L employees throughout the country were mobilized through the Groups #icare employee volunteerism initiative contributing in cash and kind, to deliver food parcels, warm meals, clothing, bedding, and more.
“I want to thank everybody who has come together to support this relief effort. There’s no doubt that the aftermath of this tragedy as well as COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on society. However, in line with the O&L Group Purpose and Vision which is ‘being a catalyst for positive change, creating new realities and fulfilling dreams’, we are confident that – as was demonstrated the past few days – if we stand united and in solidarity and take action, we will overcome this, together, as our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Twaloloka”, concluded Zerbe, quoting the NBL Managing Director, Marco Wenk.