US energy company donates N$6,6m to mitigate drought, hunger

US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield

In a move aimed at addressing food insecurity and emergency drought relief, Chevron, a United States (US) multinational energy corporation, has donated N$5,6 million to projects supporting food security and an additional N$1 million for emergency drought relief.

The partnership between Chevron and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was signed in Windhoek on Friday.

US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield emphasised the critical need to support Namibia and its rural communities during this challenging period.

“For farmers – over half of whom are women living in communal areas – access to water is scarce. And floods and droughts further threaten their ability to feed their neighbours and themselves.

“A challenge of this scale calls on all of us to do our part – whether it’s giving money, opportunity, or expertise to partners on the ground,” she said.

The agreement that was signed at the event outlines planned interventions to enhance the supply of potable water in rural areas and to fortify community resilience against the adverse effects of prevailing drought.

Revamped and new vegetable gardens will also play a crucial role in improving access to nutritious foods.

Channa Kurukulasuriya, Chevron Namibia’s manager, highlighted the corporation’s commitment to not only providing emergency relief, but also working collaboratively with partners to develop long-term solutions for eradicating food and water scarcity.

“Alongside emergency relief, we are working with partners to drive long-term solutions to eradicating food and water scarcity, supporting prosperity for communities across Namibia,” Kurukulasuriya said.

According to a press statement, the targeted projects will initially concentrate on the Kunene and Ohangwena regions, where numerous community gardens and boreholes will be upgraded, and springs will be protected against water contamination.

Community gardens, including the Opuwo Maternity Home Garden and the Olukula Water and Garden, will benefit from essential equipment such as solar pumps, water tanks, irrigation pipes, and seeds.

The three-year support programme will be implemented by USAID in collaboration with international and Namibian development partners, the statement says.

In recent years, the US government and Chevron have joined forces on education, agriculture, economic development and health programming.

The US government, through USAID, has been a steadfast supporter of Namibia since its independence, contributing to sectors such as health, education, economic development, energy and the environment, the statement says.

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