By Hilary Mare
THE drought in Namibia has affected a total number of 729 314 Namibians. 595 839 of those affected, live in the rural areas and are in need of direct food assistance, with an estimated quantity of 83 363,79 metric tons of maize meal required.
According to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila it is estimated that an amount of N$650 million is required for food, water, seed provision and livestock assistance. “Namibian Government with the support of development partners has adopted a number of intervention measures to address the current and impending challenges. Although some of these challenges will take time to address as they have root causes which could be of cultural, historical or economic nature, but the situation can change for the better with better rain we are expecting to receive this year,” she said.
Southern Africa, Namibia included, is experiencing a severe drought this year and in June 2016, President Hage Geingob declared a state of national emergency due to the drought situation in the country.
This is the second time in three years the Government has declared a state of emergency. In 2013, former president Hifikepunye Pohamba declared an emergency saying more than 4 000 animals had died and about 300 000 people were affected by the drought. Namibia has been experiencing a persistent drought for the past three years, which has caused farmers to destock and has affected over a quarter of the population, who have no food security. In order to feed people, Government has been running a drought relief programme, which saw N$916 million spent towards drought relief from April 2015 to March 2016.
The country is facing its most severe drought in more than 25 years. In rural areas, crops are failing and livestock is dying. Just as destructive is the impact the drought is having on people in towns and cities.
In Windhoek, authorities have ordered businesses to cut water use by 30 percent, a move affecting small and micro businesses along with big companies. In addition to the 30 percent cut in water use for businesses, Windhoek residents have been asked to limit daily water usage to no more than 90 litres per person, and restrictions such as a ban on hosepipes for washing cars or watering gardens have been in place since late March.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015