In response to the current devastating drought situation in the country, Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Corporation….revealed the national drought strategy, which was recently approved by Cabinet, to the Diplomatic Corps and other stakeholders.

During a meeting with members of the Diplomatic Corps, senior government officials and members of the media, on 06 June 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister briefly outlined the natural phenomenon that has been affecting Namibia and the rest of the world.

“The globe is experiencing unprecedented effects from climate change. Namibia, has not been left out to the effects of climate change created by the phenomenon we all know as “El-Nino”. The stark new normal of climate change is becoming an ever apparent reality. Extreme weather patterns such as floods, extensive droughts and even further land degradation has placed Namibia in a precarious position”.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister further explained why climate change has been comparatively affecting Namibia the hardest.

“Namibia is a semi-arid country, and the rainfall  patterns have mostly been erratic. We have noted that for this year’s rainy season, we experienced extremely poor rainfall, which subsequently caused considerable delays in the cultivation activities. These conditions are similar in all the regions. It has been widely reported that the year 2019 is the driest year in 90 years, Windhoek measured the lowest rainfall since rain was recorded in 1891”, she explained.

“The household food security is, as a result, affected negatively. Although we can up till now depend on the last year harvest, the food stocks at household levels are depleting whereas there will be no harvest to supplement or add to the existing stocks. For animals, the grazing conditions deteriorated severely across the country, leaving the livelihood of the animals under severe pressure. Thus far, 500 000 Namibians face food insecurity and water shortages, while an estimated 60 000 head of cattle will starve due to inadequate grazing”.

Given the dire situation, Honourable Nandi-Ndaitwah revealed the national strategy that the government will implement to mitigate the effect.

“Cabinet endorsed drought relief interventions valued at N$572,700,000.00 (five hundred seventy-two million seven hundred thousand) Namibian Dollars to assist affected food insecure households and drought affected farmers in all fourteen

(14) regions. The approved interventions are:

  1. Food assistance for needy and drought affected;
  2. Water tankers;
  3. Livestock Marketing Incentives in the drought affected areas;
  4. Transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, and transport for fodder to the drought affected farmers especially in communal areas;
  5. Support for Lease of grazing for the drought affected;
  6. Subsidy for crop farmers.
  7. Lick supplements for a core herd of twenty-five (25) cattle and one (1) bull per farmer; and
  8. Fodder subsidy for a core herd of twenty-five (25) cattle and one (1) bull per farmer.
  9. Fodder / lick subsidy for a core 139 small stock plus a breeding male.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister also revealed how the national plan to fight against drought will be disseminated.

“The Drought Response Plan is forwarded by the Right Honourable Prime Minister. It provides a background to the current drought situation as well as the overall objectives of the Plan. It lays out the coordination strategy and outlines the key sectors activated for implementing drought interventions as well as the funds required. The Response Plan also provides for an implementation plan to ensure that action to the affected is taken in a timely manner. To expedite action contact details of those in charge are provided. The Plan also indicates the gaps where assistance can be directed in terms of food, water and fodder”.

Finally, the DPM expressed her gratitude to all the stakeholders for responding to the invitation and urged them to join government in fighting

against the drought situation in the country.

“I thank you all for your response to this meeting and I trust that the information provided will assist in your endeavours to respond to Namibia’s hour of need”.

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