Drought-stricken farmers in the Kunene region last week received 16 rehabilitated water points from the Japanese government.
The project was funded by the Japanese Embassy in Namibia to the tune of N$1.25 million and will benefit 480 households in the Kunene region, while 2 000 community members were also trained on nutritious food and how to make water safe for drinking. Kunene has been experiencing drought since 2013, forcing many farmers in the region to drive out thousands of their livestock to other regions in search of grazing.
There is currently no rainfall harvesting.
The donation from Japan will complement government’s efforts to mitigate the effect of the severe drought in the region. The region received N$21 million from the Office of the Prime Minister during the 2019/2020 financial year to drill 13 boreholes in the seven constituencies. Contractors also installed 17 boreholes and rehabilitated 16.
Government has also started distributing food and livestock feed, and farmers continue to donate bales of hay.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Hideaki Harada, Japanese ambassador to Namibia, stated that given the dire drought spell in Kunene, he hopes the contribution will support the lives of the people of that region.
“I am happy to witness that a gift from the people of Japan will make improvements in your lives. We believe supporting basic human needs will ensure human security and improve quality of life and personal development, which in turn contribute to nation-building,” he said.
Hideaki said the embassy has endorsed a request from the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) to extend the scope of the project to add 400 more households as beneficiaries in the next three months.
In a speech, read on his behalf, governor of the Kunene region Marius Sheya urged the NRCS and all stakeholders to work in harmony to support communities to secure sustainable livelihoods and substantially reduce the impacts of disasters like drought.
“Let us work together to make sure that our communities have access to clean and safe water, and ensure human dignity is preserved for all Namibians,” he requested.
The project was launched in response to the call by government to support the communities worst hit by severe drought in 2019.
Funding for this project came from the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, which aims at achieving direct and immediate impact on the well-being of disadvantaged communities at grassroots level.