Transport deficit impacts KERC drought relief food distribution efforts

The Kavango East Regional Council (KERC) is faced with challenges to deliver drought relief food to beneficiaries on time, as two trucks are not enough to cater for the whole region.

This was said by the acting Chief Regional Officer (CRO), AmbossiusMakongwa, KERC's Director of Planning and Development Services in an interview with the media on Thursday.

Makongwa said regional council is faced with challenges to distribute the food, as only two trucks that were provided by the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) are being used to distribute the food in all six constituencies in the region.

Challenges picked up so far which are too critical is transport. It becomes so difficult for two trucks to cater for all the six constituencies in the whole region. It becomes so difficult as people are expecting to get each and every month, said Makongwa.

He said since May, a total of 2325 bags of maize meal and cooking oil and 9300 tinned fish have been distributed to beneficiaries, while this month, beneficiaries are still waiting to receive their allocation and due to transport, the distribution is being delayed.

According to the distribution ratio, one household is expected to receive one bag of maize meal, one bottle of cooking oil, and four cans of tinned fish.

However, only 2325 beneficiaries have received up-to-date since the total number of people to benefit from the program in the whole region is 6975.

The acting CRO added that the program is also being affected by a lack of personnel to work on the distribution team as only ten members from the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) have been assigned to work on the program by the Office of the President (OPM).

'There's also a lack of people who can load and off load the food since the OPM only provided ten soldiers. Five for each truck at the military base warehouse where the food is being stored and off load in the communities were the food is destined to be offloaded to the beneficiaries. And due to the distance and bad roads especially in the remote inlands, the soldiers can only do one trip a day,' he said.

To mitigate the issue, Makongwa indicated that the office of the CRO is trying to look at the availability of funds in the council's emergency fund and with council's approval in their next meeting, is when council can use the funds to fuel up two remaining trucks from the council and other vehicles to be used for the program.

Source: Namibia Press Agency