WINDHOEK – The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare and the World Food Programme (WFP) country office, yesterday launched the food bank Scope technology that digitises beneficiaries’ registration and captures biometric data, enabling the ministry to serve them better.
The ministry, in collaboration with WFP in Namibia, explored on possible mechanisms to improve the food bank implementation process.
This resulted in the signing of a partnership agreement between the Namibian government and WFP last year to introduce the Scope digital management system.
The Scope system is a digital management information system that will aid the ministry in the registration of food bank beneficiaries, the process of distribution of food parcels, reporting, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
The system, which will cost U$300 000 (approximately N$4 million) to implement in various parts of the country, was piloted in the Katutura East Constituency in Khomas Region from October.
Poverty eradication minister Bishop Zephania Kameeta in his keynote remarks said the Scope system is an effective digital tool based [on] management and information system that can be used in other social protection programmes to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.
“The Scope system can be adapted to assist in the streamlining of our fragmented social protection systems,” added Kameeta.
He further said the government is committed to the maintenance of social welfare of Namibians. Government has been implementing social protection in the form of social grants since independence, added the retired clergyman.
The benefits currently offered by the Namibian government include old age grant, disability grant, drought relief, school feeding programme and the food bank.
“The situation of people on the ground is desperate and dire, the food bank which was officially launched on 30 June 2016, was aimed at alleviating extreme hunger by ensuring that nobody dies of hunger,” said Kameeta.
The food bank is a short term intervention, noted Kameeta, saying there are about 17 000 beneficiaries on the scheme countrywide.
WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa, Lola Castro said: “WFP continues to work with governments to promote the adoption of technology as a means of enhancing efficiency of programme delivery.”
She said technology continues to propel sustainable change in Southern Africa.
Also speaking at that occasion was Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua, who said that the City is confronted with the demand for service delivery.
“The challenges of yesterday and today are completely different,” remarked the mayor.
Hordes of people continue flocking to Windhoek in search of greener pastures but resources are not enough to serve the growing needs of the city, remarked the youthful mayor.
“The demand is too high. Even the budget at City of Windhoek can’t fulfil those demands,” Kazapua said.
The food bank programme, crafted to fight hunger poverty as part of President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan, was started as a pilot programme in Windhoek before being rolled out to other regions.
Out of the about 400 000 inhabitants of Windhoek, 100 000 live in poverty and in informal settlements, Kazapua revealed.
The Tobias Hainyeko and Moses Garoëb constituencies have the most beneficiaries of the food bank programme in the Khomas Region, added the mayor.
2018-11-22 09:40:28 6 months ago