KEETMANSHOOP - The //Kharas Regional Council has distributed 10 817 bags of 12.5kg maize meal to four drought-affected areas as part of the national Disaster Risk Management Programme set in motion by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
This information was revealed during a drought relief information-sharing meeting held in Keetmanshoop early last week.
“The people that qualify for this drought relief food include elderly persons, orphans and vulnerable children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, people with disabilities and children under the age of five years,” said Imgard Eiseb, the Deputy Director for Administration in the //Kharas Regional Council when she presented its report.
She said that Karasburg, Warmbad, Tses and Aroab have been identified as drought-affected areas by OPM through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Statistics availed indicated that 4 208 households and 6 555 people benefited from the drought relief programme.
In terms of challenges Eiseb pointed out that the council lacks storage facilities which necessitates that the food needs to be stored in the Hardap regional warehouse, leading to high fuel expenses in transporting it to //Kharas.
In addition, she mentioned that a shortage of proper transport (truck, 4x4 pickup) and staff shortages (only one person running the programme) as two more challenges for the programme. “Due to the movement of beneficiaries seeking better grazing for their animals it is often difficult to locate them,” said Eiseb.
The deputy director said that the council’s budget does not cater for the programme’s operational expenses due to a lack of funds which is yet another challenge.
She further informed the audience that the disaster risk committees in the region cannot assist the programme to its level best as these committees need to attend to several other disasters reported and occurring.
“Staff at constituency and settlement offices must assist towards the success of the distribution process,” Eiseb mentioned as one of the recommendations to address these challenges.
In addition, she emphasised that proper warehouse and transport facilities should be afforded the programme to ensure its smooth functioning. The administrator further cited proper coordination and collaboration between all relevant levels within council structures as a vital recommendation to tackle challenges of the
In conclusion Eiseb said that the council is “confident that more collective, concerted efforts are critical, especially with the current state of emergency: national disaster (drought) declared by the head of state”.
An additional 5 905 bags of 12.5kg maize meal still need to be distributed from April to 31 May 2019 when the Disaster Risk Management Programme in //Kharas will end.
New Era Reporter
2019-05-22 08:56:38 | 10 months ago