Stubborn drought conditions have forced government to declare a drought state of emergency this week – with over N$570 million made available to fend off the advances of this natural scourge.
These are scary times. Scary because government has to re-adjust its plans and spending priorities in order to mitigate hunger for both humans and livestock.
For an agriculturalist economy like ours, where even subsistence living for the country’s majorities is dependent on crops and livestock, drought is a debacle of monumental proportions.
Logically, it means then that money meant for things like job creation may have to be diverted towards the war against this unpredicted wave of hunger.
Implicitly, it may mean that government’s efforts to create jobs may have to be placed on ice – in order to attend to the urgency of saving lives from hunger.
An economy that does not produce jobs is worrisome. In an ideal world, households must feed themselves, but this is not possible without jobs to generate income for families.
Market forces dictate that when there is short supply of food, prices of anything to eat go up. The irony is when prices go up in an economy that is not producing enough jobs. To afford anything is nearly impossible without a job.
The above sequence is just an elementary guide to the difficulties our country faces in the next 11 months or so.
This severe drought, which has gone on perpetually for years but which has gotten severer this year, coincides with national elections to be held this year.
This year’s election is one of government’s biggest expenditures – with ECN saying the N$300 million allocated to it this year is short of what it needed in this year of voting. Truly, democracy is expensive.
Government therefore faces one of its sternest tests in recent memory. This difficult episode in our republican life summons leadership of the highest notch and a nation that understands the full depth of the tragedy that it finds itself in.
If there was a time that Namibians needed to summon their patriotic sense and hold hands for a common purpose, such time is now.
Namibia, in turbulent times such as this, is reminiscent of the biblical Noah’s Ark. Everyone aboard that vessel, as narrated in the book of Genesis, worked towards survival for all. And they preserved.
While Noah’s generation was hit by a crisis of a state of watery chaos, Namibia is battling a crisis of exact opposite nature – a chaos of lack of rain and water.
Noah, his family and all animals that boarded his vessel survived when, after 150 days, God subsided the water and the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat.
Namibians of all origins and orientations must embrace each other in this time of crisis and traverse their way to their own mountains of Ararat.
2019-05-10 09:36:19 2 months ago