ONGWEDIVA – Although the northern regions have received good rains recently, the governor of Oshana region Elia Irimari said drought particularly food shortage is expected to prevail until the communities get to harvest.
“I wish to point out that the effects of this drought will persist and even get worse as we draw closer to the harvest period,” said Irimari.
Irimari said his region has 379 000 people who are in a dire need of food.
The revelations were made at the US food donation to drought stricken people in Oshana on Monday. Despite the food shortages at hand, the governor remains optimistic that farmers will yield a good harvest this year.
“We hope that the weather can sustain these crops and the livestock and enable people to regain their livelihood,” said Irimari.
During the last couple of years, the drought has had a very devastating effect on the farming community in which many livestock have also been lost.
The region last year witnessed an influx of farmers to the Uuvudhiya grazing area, however, many left the area without anything to fewer livestock as the grazing and water was depleted in a short span of time.
In addition to just crippling the farmers’ livelihood, the drought also had a devastating effect to the social and economic well being of the country.
But despite the drought aftermath, Irimari said the immediate concern is to save lives and ensure that no one dies of hunger but receive the necessary food assistance through the various programmes in place.
In the same vein, the governor said the country should also pay special focus on how best to manage the impact of climate change.
With this, he encouraged the US embassy in Namibia as well as the World Food Programme to look into setting up resilience building programmes in the community.
“Investment in disaster risk management and response, climate change at large, the introduction and adoption of appropriate climate smart technologies for agriculture with a focus on smallholder farmers are some of the areas that can help communities regain and sustain their livelihoods,” said Irimari.