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Tsumkwe Constituency Councillor Johannes Haufiku has called on the Office of the Prime Minister to combine the drought relief food aid and feeding programmes for marginalised communities in his area.

In an interview with nbc News, Haufiku says food parcels do not reach all intended beneficiaries, despite many households and individuals needing food aid.

According to Haufiku, households listed for the marginalised feeding programme receive food parcels quarterly but do not qualify for drought relief aid, which is distributed monthly through the constituency office. 

Drought relief beneficiaries receive parcels containing maize meal, soya mince, tinned fish, and cooking oil. 

Under the feeding programme, beneficiaries receive maize meal, sugar, tinned fish, and tinned beef.

"The criteria is the one that prevents the San from being registered for drought relief because they are already benefiting from the San Feeding Programme, which is from the same Office of the Prime Minister. Therefore, I was suggesting that we combine these two programmes so that they can get food parcels every month because the people who are really affected by hunger are in the San community, and for them to receive food parcels quarterly really is a challenge to them."

The Tsumkwe Constituency is home to over 15,000 inhabitants, and 1,200 of them are listed for drought relief aid.

Haufiku says another challenge hampering the effective rollout of the programme is the nomadic lifestyle of the San communities. 

"We observed that most of the San were not registered, so it's where we agreed that this year they will come in April so that we can reregister. So they can take the list, and I'll have to keep another list in my office. It will be better for me to have a list of those who are in my constituency because the challenge now is that there are a lot of people who have not registered."

Haufiku says households with an income of over N$3,000, or those who receive monthly social grants, are excluded from the drought and food aid programmes.

Earlier this month, Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka, revealed that about 32,617 marginalised San, Ovatue, and Ovatjimba people benefit from the feeding programme.

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Photo Credits
NBC Digital News

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Author
Faith Sankwasa