The School Feeding Programme has resumed in most regions, a month after schools resumed in August.
Vulnerable learners across the country, whose schools had run out of food, were deprived of often their only meal of the day, for a month.
The education ministry was given the green light by the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) at the beginning of May to carry out emergency procurement, but the process was not finalised in time to have food at schools when the term started.
Distribution commenced at the end of August already in many of the regions.
However, the delivery of food in the Ohangwena region is expected to happen this week. In a story published on 4 August 2021, the ministry’s spokesperson said, “we are finalising logistics matters, but we are working around the clock to bring the food to the schools on time.”
Most of the regions, however, only started to receive food this week, as, according to sources, there was a delay in the arrival of protein for the maize blend.
“Ohangwena still does not have food, because the blender only got the protein at the end of last month, but they should be sorted this week,” said the source.
The director of education in Ohangwena Isak Hamatwi said he does not have a specific number of learners who are affected by the delay of the food.
“The situation is what it is. The majority of the schools do not have food. Only a few schools still had food in their reserves,” said Hamatwi. In the Omusati region, about 71 557 learners were affected by the late procurement of food.
Chief inspector of the Omusati region Shali Kankondi said the food was being procured for the region and there was nothing the region could do.
Despite the regions that were hard hit, //Kharas and Hardap had secured enough maize blend before the winter holiday.
During an earlier interview, when the story initially broke, the ministry of education’s spokesperson Sem Shino said the food was going to be procured during the first week of the new school term.
Shino yesterday said he was still to obtain feedback on the resumption of the feeding programme from the people in charge.
The school feeding programme caters for 431 500 learners across the country.
The situation is daunting because the one meal provided at the schools for some children is their only meal for the day. In some regions, the meal keeps and attracts vulnerable children to school.