WINDHOEK – Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Christine //Hoebes yesterday applauded India for its contribution towards the drought relief efforts by the government.
Indian High Commissioner to Namibia Prashant Agrawal announced last Friday that his government would donate 1 000 metric tons of food grain to Namibia’s drought relief programme.
President Hage Geingob last month declared drought a national disaster after poor rainfall wreaked havoc on crops and grazing fields were left scorched.
Namibia, with a population about 2.4 million people who mostly rely on agriculture for survival, has since 2015 experienced numerous dry spells.
In April this year, an agriculture ministry report said 63 700 animals had died in 2018 because of deteriorating grazing conditions brought on by dry weather.
//Hoebes told New Era that the government appreciates and welcomes the support from India towards the drought relief efforts to help mitigate the effects of devastating animal and crop stock losses, which now threaten sustained food security.
“India has been a friend of Namibia for a long time and this donation is testimony of the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and their people,” she said.
“I call on all friendly nations, as well as Namibian entities and individuals, to rally their support in contributing towards the drought relief efforts by government,” she added.
In a media statement issued on Friday, Agrawal said the donation of 1 000 metric tons of rice and mahangu is aimed at assisting Namibia to cope with the current national emergency caused by the drought.
“In keeping with our close and fraternal ties, the people and the government of India stand with the people and the government of Namibia in solidarity in this hour of need and action,” he added.
In March this year Cabinet approved a comprehensive drought relief intervention worth N$572.7 million to assist drought-affected communities in communal areas.
Those affected would receive food assistance, water tanks and livestock marketing incentives. Affected farmers will also be provided with transport subsidy to and from grazing areas and transport for fodder, especially in communal areas. Also, farmers will receive support for lease of grazing and crop farmers will be subsidised.
Likewise, farmers will receive lick supplements for a core herd of 25 cattle and one bull per farmer and fodder subsidy for a core herd of 25 cattle and one bull per farmer.
2019-06-04 08:17:56 15 days ago