OMUTHIYA - As the recurrent drought continues to wipe out pastures and causing distress mostly among communal farmers, the Oshikoto Regional Council will as of next week start distributing free fodder to identified beneficiaries in all 11 constituencies.
The region received a batch of 2 376 bales that will be distributed to 250 farmers.
This is in addition to the drought relief food that was distributed over the past few weeks, which include a bag of maize meal, cooking oil and tinned fish.
Upon inquiry, the governor Henock Kankoshi said, delays were experienced to timely expedite the process. “Beneficiaries registered in some constituencies were not done as per the stipulated requirement, hence this had to be corrected,” stated Kankoshi.
To qualify as a beneficiary, a household must not earn an income of more than N$2 600 per month. Farmers who have 26 large stock units of cattle and 130 small stock unit which include goats and sheep qualify to benefit from the fodder given for livestock support.
Government also provides free fodder and licks to farmers. The Office of the Prime Minister has availed over N$570 million to assist drought-affected farmers and vulnerable citizens.
“People were not well informed in the first place on who qualifies and what the requirements are. As in some instances you will find that some beneficiaries are employed and earning more than N$2600 which is a benchmark. Therefore, we had to return the list to the constituencies to re-select, so far all have complied and compiled new lists, with the exception of Nehale Lya Mpingana on which we are waiting for,” stated the Oshikoto governor.
Another challenge was the issue of transport however, the office has assured that an NDF truck has been sourced and ready to start distributing.
“Meanwhile, they are just waiting for fuel cards from the office of the Prime Minister, once that is provided, they will begin as early as next week,” further stated.
The distribution will begin with the most affected constituency such as Olukonda.
There over 18 000 drought affected households in Oshikoto which translates to over 211 000 individual severely hit.