WINDHOEK - Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and the Deputy PM Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday implored regional governors not to let anyone die of hunger as a result of the drought that was declared a state of emergency by President Hage Geingob on Monday.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Nandi-Ndaitwah made this call during a meeting with regional governors in Windhoek that discussed modalities on how to address the severe drought threatening the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Namibians.
Namibia has been experiencing a persistently stubborn drought for the past six years, which has killed an unspecified number of livestock across the country, estimated to be worth millions of dollars. The Prime Minister told governors that it was clear that the “livelihoods of the majority of Namibians, especially those that depend on agricultural activities is threatened.”
“Most regions are experiencing water shortage, as most of the rain-fed catchments are either dry or have little water, livestocks are dying and take note I am not picking up this from the media, I have seen it with my own eyes while visiting affected areas,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila this week announced a N$573 million drought package aimed at helping farmers and families affected by the drought.
The package was welcomed with open arms by almost all MPs - including opposition benches – when the PM made the announcement in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Those affected would receive food assistance; water tanks and livestock marketing incentives. Farmers will also be provided with transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, and transport for fodder to the drought affected farmers especially in communal areas.
Also, farmers will be receiving support for lease of grazing for the drought affected and subsidy for crop farmers. 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.
Yesterday, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila told governors that the implementation of the declared drought emergency require immediate action.
She said for human support, government envisage to provide per household affected the following items per month: one bag of 12,5kg of maize meal, four tins of 400 grams of fish, and one bottle of 750ml of cooking oil.
For farmers in rural areas that depends on subsistence farming and who are affected by drought, the Prime Minister told governors that for a specific household to benefit, the monthly household income must not exceed N$2,600 during the period of the programme.
“The same household should not be receiving food (equivalent to government food basket) from any other source at a time of the drought relief program,” she stresses.
She urged regional governors to keep their phones on all times and to immediately start in spearheading the processes of identification, registration of insecure households and distribution of food to such households.
“This is to be done immediately, so that such support reach our farmers,” she said.
She also announced that the Ministry of Defence will contribute trucks, three per region to be used in the distribution.
“Given the extent of the drought, these interventions will require the support of all Namibians, and we must avoid delays and wastages in order to safeguard our people who are affected, as well as the livestock,” she told governors.
2019-05-10 08:56:08 9 days ago