Kunene starts with drought food distribution

20 Jun 2013 03:00
OPUWO, 20 JUN (NAMPA) ? Plans are being explored to use unemployed youth from the Kunene Region to distribute drought relief food after community members here complained that Government officials are benefitting twice in terms of compensation.
While this option is being discussed, the drought relief food is being distributed by drivers only.
These drivers are also Government employees.
In the meantime, about 6 140 bags of maize meal of 12,5 kilogrammes each have been handed out to beneficiaries since the distribution of drought relief food commenced in the Kunene Region last Friday.
The distribution teams started with villages close to the town of Opuwo.
Only maize is being distributed as drought relief food at present, and 16 000 bags of maize meal have been delivered here for that purpose.
Meanwhile, residents of the four informal settlements in Opuwo, who were left out during the registration for the drought aid this year, are now also being registered.
These people are also classified as direct victims of the drought since their livelihoods depend on maize farming.
The 'headman' of the Katutura informal settlement, Jason Nghipandulwa, said more than 2 000 residents are expected to be registered from his area.
Nghipandulwa is called a headman because the area he presides over is akin to a village, and people even consult him if they want land.
?Last year, only 650 people from my area benefitted because they were either pregnant or lactating women, and children under the age of six or pensioners. But this year, all families are going to be given food,? explained Nghipandulwa.
The coordinator of the Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Kunene Regional Council, Lucas Tjoola is facilitating the registration of beneficiaries, and told Nampa on Thursday that three days have been set aside for that purpose.
?We are using casual labourers from the informal areas to register people at all four informal spots in those three days.
When they complete their tasks, we will communicate the number of beneficiaries to the Office of the Prime Minister before they are included in the distribution programme,? Tjoola noted.
According to the chairperson of the Regional Emergency Management Unit (REMU), Dudu Murorua, 62 000 people have been registered for drought relief food in the Kunene Region.
This number excludes people from informal settlements, who are estimated to be beyond 3 000.