By Lieutenant General (RTD) Denga Ndaitwah
ONE does not to go to school to be able to understand the impact of the prolonged drought affecting this country and many more parts of the world. Going to school will only enable someone to measure and establish the level of the impact caused by the severity of drought and make predictions on what impact will it have in the future. Namibia has been faced with severe drought for a consecutive two years now. The devastation of the drought is felt equally by both young and old members of our society.
To comprehend what drought as an external factor has caused, move around this country, you will see unpreceded queues of people who are grappling for food and water for survival. Have a glance in the crop fields; some are without anything at all while others are with pale crop without any hope for harvest. Move further, you will be dumbfounded to see carcasses of animals that succumbed to starvation and those that are waiting for their turn to die. Go beyond the crop fields, dead and would-be dying lean animals, you will see dams and water points dried up and cracked as if they never had water at any point in time. Imagine how many people are so desperate and despair today who are confronted with the situation of which they have little hope to make a living tomorrow as they have nothing to harvest, their animals are dead and continue to die. The situation is so pathetic, horrible and unbearable.
As a novice farmer, I was almost left hopeless last season as I experienced a terrible situation, particularly looking at my animals that were no longer going out from kraals for grazing as there was nothing to graze on in the field, but rather, stayed in the kraals waiting for feeding. Buying fodder for feeding left me almost with empty pockets as my animals survived on how much was in the pocket. I was at the brink of letting them die in the kraals as I was becoming moneyless. The decision to feed my animals was made of course after painstaking considerations.
First, the farm is still for Agribank as I am still paying for the bond. Second, taking animals to auction was at a giveaway price, as prices were nose-diving as the market was so flooded with animals as everyone was almost selling. Third, seeing my animals dying was the worst thing that I could opt for as that would mean losing the animals and eventually the farm. After weighing all the above options and alternatives available to me, I decided to make a hard decision in a form of sacrificing money hoping that I will be able to survive for the next battle of drought. Here we are in the second year of drought again and it is only time that will tell on the result for this year. Should the situation of drought become worse than last year, I shall no longer be in the same position I was last season as I have nothing left in my pocket to make them survive. All the above made me to believe that climate change with its global warming is real.
Namibian government and in particular the political leadership that is in power is on test. The main challenge is how possible can they deal with the current catastrophe cause by climate change that has caused global warming. Inevitably, leaders must stand ready to deal with all kinds of internal and external factors. Leaders must stand ready to persevere to face challenges. It is the duty and responsibility of a leader to get prepared and be able to deal with what can be perceived as insurmountable. There is an understanding that, do not fix it if it is not broken. In its current form, something is broken thus needs to be fixed. It is presumed that the President and his political leadership are hard at work to fit in the Harambee Prosperity Plan in the wake of this catastrophic phenomenon. Fixing it before it becomes unfixable is the right thing to do. Allowing it to break down totally without fixing it may be construed as a tail wags a dog instead of a dog wags its tail. It is however, believed that the President as a ship captain together with his ship technical experts shall rise to the challenge and make HPP survive the climate change and the scourge of global warming. It is believed that, the only possibility to achieve HPP’s end-states is to turn challenges into opportunities.
…. continues next week
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