By Eliaser Ndeyanale
EVANGELICAL Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) has urged Government to put all non-essential projects on hold and divert more resources to alleviate the plight of those most affected by the drought.
In a statement released Monday, the church revealed that at its church council (CC) meeting on August 19 it resolved that as far as worsening drought and effects of other climate change are concerned a national day of prayer for rain be slated for October 2.
“The CC agreed the current drought has devastating effects on the lives of ordinary people, especially the poor and marginalised who are struggling to survive from one day to another.
“Major losses have been recorded in the farming community and many families and communities have lost their livelihood, in this regard the CC resolved to call on Government to put on hold all non-essential programmes and projects so that it can divert more resources to alleviating the plight of those most affected by drought,” the church said.
The church further called on the private sector and wealthier citizens to do more to help alleviate the predicament of the needy people both in rural areas and urban informal settlements.
ELCRN is also calling for the intensification and strengthening of early warning systems and the development of long-term coping mechanism to deal with devastating effects of the drought. The church stated that its pilot project of fighting drought through cash grants in various communities in the North and the South have proven to be far more effective than the food parcels being distributed by the Government and it has shared its report with recommendations to Government.
With regards to the national housing crisis, the meeting resolved that civil society and private sector play an active role to ensure that homeless, poor and marginalised people have decent shelter. The church also donated its portion of land in Mariental to the local municipality to use it to build low income housing for the residents. The land is estimated to accommodate 300 families.
ELCRN commended Government’s plan to convene a second land conference, suggested that academic institutions, research agencies and experts should be engaged to review various policies, legislation and programmes on land reform. Regional and local consultations, it also said, should be undertaken to provide a platform for the landless.
Other resolutions taken by the council at its meeting include supporting national efforts on the HIV/AIDS response, and to intensify interventions through its well-organised social infrastructure to combat gender-based violence.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015