Payment of Food Bank volunteers' allowances delayed

19 Nov 2016 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 NOV (NAMPA) - Ninety Nine Food Bank street committee members from the Moses //Garoëb and Samora Machel constituencies finally got their allowances Wednesday evening, a week after 15 of their colleagues were paid.
Street committee member for the Moses //Garoeb Constituency, Johannes Nghifikepunye told Nampa on Monday they registered Food Bank beneficiaries from July up until September, during which they received N.dollars 4 000 for those three months.
In September this year, each volunteer received N.dollars 1 500.
“The problem appeared last month (October), when until last Friday we did not receive our allowances and there was no communication from the head office to explain as to what was delaying the process,” he stated.
Food Bank Volunteers’ Committee Coordinator for Samora Machel, Angela Heinrich said they tried on several occasions to find out what caused the delay, but in vain.
“In some instances, when we were trying to enquire from the ministry as to when we would get our allowances, we were told that if we are not happy, we must go,” she told Nampa recently.
The allowances are paid by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to the 114-member group of the two constituencies responsible for registering Food Bank beneficiaries and distributing food to them.
Street committee members are volunteers who receive allowances according to the number of days they worked.
Approached for comment by Nampa on Wednesday, the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare’s Chief Public Relations Officer, Lot Ndamanomhata confirmed that the volunteers were paid their allowances.
“The names of the street committee members and their bank details should be submitted to the ministry by the 15th of each month to give the ministry staff appropriate time to make payments, which was not the case this time around,” he said.
President Hage Geingob launched the Food Bank in July this year as part of Government's Harambee Prosperity Plan's Goal Seven, which targets zero deaths due to hunger.
By the time of the launch, about 27 500 people were registered to receive food from the bank.
In August, over 117 street committees, chosen from poor communities, underwent intensive training to assist in the identification of the most impoverished, as well as to assist with the food distribution.
Only those who earn less than N.dollars 400 per month qualify to receive food bank hand-outs.