Govt gives N$20 million to alleviate impact of drought

Govt gives N$20 million to alleviate impact of drought

CABINET has set aside N$20 million to help Namibian farmers and the rural community cope with this year’s devastating drought.

The money will be used to rehabilitate boreholes in the Kunene Region while in the Erongo Region some 78 012 needy households will be assisted. In the Caprivi, an estimated 13 002 households will benefit from a portion of the N$20 million.The decision came after Cabinet Secretary Frans Kapofi, on instructions of the Prime Minister, undertook a three-week inspection of the regions to assess the situation.The assessment found that the Daures and Otjimbingwe constituencies in the Erongo, Kunene and the Western Caprivi were severely affected by drought and water shortages.Most households in those areas depend on livestock and crop production for food security and income.”Due to the drought, elephants, quelea birds and floods only a few crop production farmers have harvested something for own consumption this year.These people, especially in the areas of Western Caprivi, partly Katima Mulilo Rural and the Kabbe constituencies have nothing else to fall back on,” Cabinet said in a statement.In areas such as Otjimbingwe and the Daures constituency, people have been without water for a period of two to six months.”Extended drought conditions and ensuing water shortages in these areas will cause severe stress to both people and livestock, especially in the areas of Otjimbingwe, Daures and parts of Kunene and Western Caprivi.Livestock is already in a fair to poor condition for this time of the year,” Cabinet said.Most of the affected areas require food assistance and emergency grazing and water supply where possible.Samtaca Katjizemo, Swapo Regional Co-ordinator for Kunene, said he was aware of the Cabinet decision and boreholes were being drilled in Kunene North while others in Kunene South had been rehabilitated.”We welcome the speedy manner in which Cabinet reacted to our call.Farmers will not have survived if Cabinet had not reacted.Our only concern now is the wild animals.A lot of conservancies in our region depend on wild animals and we hope the Ministry of Environment and Tourism will come in to rescue the animals,” Katjizemo told The Namibian.Recently Katjizemo called on Government to suspend its resettlement programme and to use those farms bought under the resettlement programme for emergency grazing for drought-stricken farmers from his region.Katjizemo said rich commercial farmers and politicians such as regional councillors who have moved into communal areas, particularly in the Grootberg area, worsened the situation, destroying already scarce grazing.He said that areas such as Kanatseb, Sori Soris, Khorixas West, Khorixas East and Khorixas North in Kunene South, as well as Fransfontein and Morewag were the hardest hit.Cabinet directed the Emergency Management Committee to use the N$20 million already provided from the contingency fund, to cater for the drought in the affected areas.Cabinet also mandated the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to activate the Katima/Kongolo water pipeline to provide water to the affected areas.The National Emergency Management Committee will implement and co-ordinate the emergency programme for six months.Cabinet directed all Regional Councils to register identified affected populations in their respective regions/constituencies.In the Caprivi, an estimated 13 002 households will benefit from a portion of the N$20 million.The decision came after Cabinet Secretary Frans Kapofi, on instructions of the Prime Minister, undertook a three-week inspection of the regions to assess the situation.The assessment found that the Daures and Otjimbingwe constituencies in the Erongo, Kunene and the Western Caprivi were severely affected by drought and water shortages.Most households in those areas depend on livestock and crop production for food security and income.”Due to the drought, elephants, quelea birds and floods only a few crop production farmers have harvested something for own consumption this year.These people, especially in the areas of Western Caprivi, partly Katima Mulilo Rural and the Kabbe constituencies have nothing else to fall back on,” Cabinet said in a statement.In areas such as Otjimbingwe and the Daures constituency, people have been without water for a period of two to six months.”Extended drought conditions and ensuing water shortages in these areas will cause severe stress to both people and livestock, especially in the areas of Otjimbingwe, Daures and parts of Kunene and Western Caprivi.Livestock is already in a fair to poor condition for this time of the year,” Cabinet said.Most of the affected areas require food assistance and emergency grazing and water supply where possible.Samtaca Katjizemo, Swapo Regional Co-ordinator for Kunene, said he was aware of the Cabinet decision and boreholes were being drilled in Kunene North while others in Kunene South had been rehabilitated.”We welcome the speedy manner in which Cabinet reacted to our call.Farmers will not have survived if Cabinet had not reacted.Our only concern now is the wild animals.A lot of conservancies in our region depend on wild animals and we hope the Ministry of Environment and Tourism will come in to rescue the animals,” Katjizemo told The Namibian.Recently Katjizemo called on Government to suspend its resettlement programme and to use those farms bought under the resettlement programme for emergency grazing for drought-stricken farmers from his region.Katjizemo said rich commercial farmers and politicians such as regional councillors who have moved into communal areas, particularly in the Grootberg area, worsened the situation, destroying already scarce grazing.He said that areas such as Kanatseb, Sori Soris, Khorixas West, Khorixas East and Khorixas North in Kunene South, as well as Fransfontein and Morewag were the hardest hit.Cabinet directed the Emergency Management Committee to use the N$20 million already provided from the contingency fund, to cater for the drought in the affected areas.Cabinet also mandated the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to activate the Katima/Kongolo water pipeline to provide water to the affected areas.The National Emergency Management Committee will implement and co-ordinate the emergency programme for six months.Cabinet directed all Regional Councils to register identified affected populations in their respective regions/constituencies.

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