By Eliaser Ndeyanale
SOME 460 bags of maize meal intended for drought relief to needy people were reportedly spoiled in a military warehouse in Rundu in the Kavango East region.
However the chief regional officer of Kavango East, Ludwig Thikusho while admitting that they were bags of maize meal spoiled insisted that they were not 460 but 53 instead.
This has happened at a time when the region is pleading for assistance to feed 31 056 hungry people as there have not been enough rains to produce even a meager harvest.
He said that the bags were spoiled by the rain because of a leak on the warehouse roof.
“Only 53 bags were spoiled because of a leakage from the roof of the warehouse and the warehouse is not ours it belongs to the Ministry of Defence, so we didn’t know which side of the roof has the leak,” he said.
However, sources closer to the matter dismissed Thikusho’s version saying, the bags of food were spoiled due to the limited number of trucks to carry out timeous distribution in the region – meaning that the food is kept in the warehouse for longer than need be until it rots.
He also told Confidente that 31 056 people in the Kavango East region have applied for drought relief food.
Cabinet this year decided that all spoiled maize meal should not be distributed because the health ministry ruled it unfit for human consumption.
Early this year, the Oshikoto regional Council threw away more than 200 bags of maize meal donated by the South African government for drought relief after condemning it as unfit for human consumption.
In September this year, it was announced that another 254 bags of the maize meal donated for drought relief by South Africa were spoiled before it was distributed.
Cabinet secretary and chairman of the National Emergency Management Committee George Simataa confirmed then that the maize meal was spoiled by rain while at the Disaster Risk Management warehouse in Posperita. He said the 254 bags of 12,5kg of maize meal were spoiled in February due to a leak on the warehouse roof.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015