• March 29th, 2020

Drought relief donations jealously guarded from abuse – Nashandi

WINDHOEK – The executive director in the Office of the Prime Minister I-Ben Natangwe Nashandi says the government has tight mechanisms in place to ensure the drought relief programme is not open to abuse. This is to prevent resources, especially those donated lately, ending up in individuals’ pockets.

Nashandi, in an interview with New Era, said the government has developed clear criteria for drought relief beneficiaries to be identified by the regions and various documents should be submitted when they apply for support. 

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in the National Assembly last month that the government has so far spent about N$40 million on its drought relief programme. She was responding to questions by opposition members Jennifer van den Heever of the Popular Democratic Movement and Madala Nauyoma of the All People’s Party. Out of the N$40 million the government has so far spent on the implementation of the drought relief programme, a total of about N$30.5 million has been transferred to regional councils for water provision, including rehabilitation and installation of boreholes. According to Nanshandi, monitoring and evaluation are ongoing to ensure that conditions for each support programme are adhered to.

Of the N$40 million that the government has so far spent on the drought relief programme, an amount of N$4.83 million has been allocated for the purchase of food items for June to August. Another N$1.26 million has been allocated for logistics such as transport costs, while an amount of N$3.35 million has been channeled for the purchase of animal feed. He said the expenditure for all items was done strictly in compliance with the Public Procurement Act, 2015. 

He further noted that maize grains were bought from the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (Amta) and are stored in their silos. 

Currently, he said, the Office of the Prime Minister requires the services of registered millers to mill, package and deliver. The list of registered millers is obtainable from Amta. 

According to him, cooking oil has so far been purchased from large wholesalers, while they are working on expressions of interest that were open to all prospective suppliers. 

Moreover, he said, fodder was purchased from green schemes and also from local producers.  Nashandi reiterated that the government has introduced several interventions to safeguard the livelihoods of farmers during the drought. 

He emphasised that the government through the National Emergency Disaster Fund has so far spent money on various drought relief interventions.

Since the programme is not meant for well-off individuals, New Era wanted to know how many farmers have been registered and how many have benefited in terms of animal fodder and licks. Nashandi explained that a total of 3 500 farmers have been registered and 2 000 farmers are expected to benefit from the programme during the first distribution of fodder.  He said the distribution of fodder is ongoing. 

Albertina Nakale
2019-07-09 09:00:04 | 8 months ago

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