Kavango residents should brace themselves for starvation: Kaundu

11 Feb 2015 08:50am
KAPAKO, 11 FEB (NAMPA) - The Mbunza Traditional Authority leader in the Kavango West Region has warned inhabitants of the two Kavango regions to brace themselves for severe hunger and starvation this season.
Chief Alfons Kaundu has hinted that more lives could be lost this year due to hunger emanating from drought.
Speaking on the national Rukavango radio call-in programme on Tuesday morning, Kaundu said he had travelled around the Kavango East and Kavango West regions, and observed that there will be poor harvests this year as most subsistence crops such as mahangu and maize have not grown due to low rainfalls.
He staked his prediction on the fact that the traditional wild fruit known in Rukavango as ‘Nonsimba’, has grown in abundance in the two regions.
According to him, this is a clear indication that there will be severe drought and subsequent hunger this year.
The Mbunza leader said Nonsimba have, since time immemorial, been known to grow in abundance only when there is lack of rain.
He stated that what makes matters more worrisome is the fact that there are neither enough wild fruit in the bushes nor fish in the Okavango River from which people could survive, as was in the past, because they have all been depleted by the growing population.
Kaundu thus proposed that Traditional Authority leaders as well as constituency councillors in the two regions meet and discuss how to get the government’s urgent intervention, especially with regards to distributing drought relief food.
“This year, we will be faced with hunger, and we should not be reluctant, but urgently approach Government before any lives are lost as it is the only way the government will know about our situation,” stressed the chief.
Government’s seed distribution programme to subsistence farmers will also not have any impact due to the lack of rain.
The leader thus called on the central government to be prepared, and to roll out its drought relief programme in a timely manner to remedy the situation.
His traditional authority leadership is prepared to undertake a trip to State House, and inform President Hifikepunye Pohamba about the worrisome conditions, he added.