Kameeta delivers

The poverty ministry has kept its word and is rolling out much-needed food banks across Namibia.

15 March 2019 | Local News

While the poverty ministry has apologised for the delay in food parcel deliveries to recipients across the country this month, it is gearing up to roll out the service to the entire country within the next few months.

Ministry spokesperson Lot Ndamanomhata confirmed this week that the rollout of food bank sites is going smoothly, with the ministry keen to finalise the rollout to the entire country by June.

On Tuesday, the ministry's executive director Esther Lusepani issued a statement in which the ministry explained that the delay in distributing food parcels to beneficiaries at established sites during the past month was due to “internal administrative” issues.

She explained these issues affected the ministry's ability to do a “double distribution for the months of February and March respectively”, noting that the same is done with social grants which are disbursed in November for the months of November and December.

Lusepani noted that the ministry had intended to issue food parcels for both February and March last month, but due to a delay in January and a problem with the reconciling of the ministry's books, this was not possible.

She confirmed that all deliveries would resume as normal from yesterday.

Ndamanomhata confirmed that “since its humble beginnings in June 2016, the food bank has grown to cover over 17 000 beneficiaries in the Khomas, Hardap, //Karas, Kavango West, Kavango East, Kunene and Ohangwena regions”.

Ndamanomhata added that during the 2018/19 financial year, the food bank was rolled out to six regions, and eight towns in those regions.

These include Mariental in the Hardap Region, Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz in the //Karas Region, Kavango West (Nkurenkuru), Kavango East (Rundu), Kunene (Khorixas and Opuwo) and Ohangwena (Eenhana).

He said beneficiaries are currently being registered in the Zambezi Region, while food bank consultations were concluded with regional councillors and governors in the Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati regions in January 2019.

Ndamanomhata said consultations with the remaining three regions, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa and Erongo, will be completed next.

Ndamanomhata told Nampa this week the ministry intends to spend all funds earmarked for poverty eradication by the end of the financial year, which is why there is a double distribution for February and March.

“We have thus far spent 94% of the money as intended,” he said, adding they were accused last year of having underspent.

“We don't want to repeat the same thing this year.”

JANA-MARI SMITH

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