SWAKOPMUND – Navachab gold mine extended a helping hand by donating animal fodder worth over N$500 000to drought-stricken farmers in the Erongo Region.
Erongo is one of the regions that is severely affected by the drought that has forced farmers to abandon their farms in search of grass and water for their animals.
MD of the mine George Botshiwe, who handed over the donation on Tuesday to the Erongo governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua, said the well-being of Erongo residents is a concern for the mine hence their assisting drought-affected farmers.
“As a mine operating in Erongo we have a responsibility to assist our brothers and sisters in the region who are severely affected by this year’s drought. We cannot just stand by while our people are suffering. We have to provide this support, even in the midst of our own financial challenges,” Botshiwe stated.
According to Botshiwe the mine faced its most difficult challenge in 2018 as it “was in debt with no prospect of additional funding to sustain its operations”.
Mutjavikua on his part said that agriculture plays a crucial role in the lives of the people of Namibia, taking into consideration that 40 percent of Namibians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and that employment in the sector amounts to 20 percent of total employment in the country.
“That is why government takes full cognizance of the importance of agriculture to the people of this country and has placed relevant policy frameworks in place to contribute to increased agricultural production in line with the country’s Vision 2030, the fourth National Development Plans and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s mandate,” he said.
He explained that nature with all its good intentions, through the lack of adequate rains, has altered the course of those plans and therefore government had to adapt to the new dynamics to ensure that its people do not lose their livelihoods.
Mutjavikua applauded Navachab mine for its unselfish nature, saying the donation will exclusively be for Erongo and will assist vulnerable farmers to ensure that they maintain their livestock as long as possible.