WINDHOEK – Namibia is among the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries expected to receive high rainfall in the second half of the season from now until March. This is according to the consensus forecast produced by the 23rd Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) that met in Luanda last year.
SARCOF forecasted good rainfall for Namibia in the first half of the season across most of the SADC between October and December 2019.
Similarly, the forum said in the second half of the season from January to March 2020, parts of the SADC region, including Namibia, are expected to receive high rainfall, with others likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall.
Areas that are forecasted to receive normal-to-below normal rainfall in the second half of the 2019/20 season are the south-western areas, comprising of Angola, eastern half of Botswana, Eswatini, eastern Lesotho, southern Malawi, southernmost Madagascar, most of Mozambique, westernmost parts of Namibia, most of South Africa, eastern half of Tanzania, central Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, speaking to New Era yesterday, part-time farmer and information and communication technology minister Stanley Simataa yesterday urged farmers across the country to take good advantage of the ongoing rains to plant fast-maturing crops to boost the country’s food security.
Simataa said “We can’t be an independent nation depending on other countries to produce food which we need as a country, so let us take good advantage of the prevailing good weather conditions and continue to do our best as we advance our strides in terms of food self-sufficiency”.
Last month, rain in the northern regions came as a relief to many farmers whose livestock have been decimated by the persistent drought.
Some of the farmers were compelled to halt livestock farming because their livestock has already perished in the heat.
And while some still have a minimal herd, others are only left with single beasts with which they intend to increase their stock.
Before the rains last month, farmers were praying for it to save their surviving livestock.
Although government as part of its drought relief mitigation efforts also gave farmers animal feed, some of the farmers New Era interacted with said they have not received anything.
To receive assistance, the government was asking farmers to scale down their stock to at least 25 cattle and one bull.
New Era in September last year reported that 30 000 cattle have died last year as a result of drought. Selma Cornelius Amadhila of Egundjilo village in Okaku constituency was only left with one animal after all the others died.
Desperate times call for desperate measures:
To mitigate the drought, Amadhila had even gone to the extent of stripping her traditional huts to feed her cattle but all that seem to have been vain.
“I had no choice – I do not have money to buy any feed; hence, I used the grass and mahangu stalks on the hut to feed the cattle,” elaborated Amadhila last year.
“I stopped counting because every other day, one of my cattle died. Even today, I am left with one that is also fighting for its life”.
Although animal feed is absent, many areas now have water from the first rains in October.
As a result of the downpours, many earth dams are full and could last the farmers a while before they dry out again.
Although there is water for now, farmers at Egundjilo are requesting the government to help them build a community animal trough.