Query: Councilllor Ambrosius Kandjii, the constituency you serve is denied information and is last to benefit – if it benefits at all – from any community projects that are happening around Windhoek. Why? Your people are dying of hunger while the food bank is functioning in other constituencies. Bring the food bank closer to the community you serve, please.
Response: The process of the food bank and choosing which constituency came first came as a result after consultations were done with the entire councilors of the Khomas Regional Council at Parliament where all the councilors were consulted and asked to volunteer their constituency for the food bank and hence Thobias Hainyeko responded to that call and hence they were the first constituency to benefit from the pilot phase of the food bank and followed by Samora Machel respectively. All constituency councilors were consulted before the food bank pilot phase started. The Ministry did not decide which constituency would be the first to benefit but a consultation was held to decide.
A structured process, of which constituency would follow after the first two constituencies, was agreed upon – that is then how it eventually led to Katutura Central getting its opportunity to start with the process of identifying street committees that would then lead to the identification of the beneficiaries of the food bank.
Katutura Central constituency has already finished with the identification of street committee members and their training has also been concluded. The street committee members are currently busy with the identification beneficiaries of the food bank before the food is distributed to the identified members of the constituency.
The operations of the food bank in Katutura Central constituency are not unique as they are the same as of the other constituencies and due to the fact that the food bank is still in its pilot phase, challenges will occur just as they had occurred in other constituencies.
The food bank is at its infant stages under a pilot programme in Windhoek, Khomas Region. Challenges associated with new programmes: Many residents claim to be not included, as they don’t meet the criteria, which is set to only include the poor and vulnerable; the distribution process is lengthy, and requires many processes to ensure that the beneficiaries receive the food on time. It is also worth noting that the higher number of beneficiaries implies a complex kind of logistics. The success of the food bank depends on the cooperation of all stakeholders. The food bank programme has already received generous contributions from different stakeholders, who donated food and non-food items for distribution to the needy. The Ministry registers its appreciation to all such stakeholders and calls for more partnership.
• Mr Lot Ndamanomhata, Chief Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Email: Lot.Ndamanomhata@mpesw.gov.na