State of emergency must be declared on drought

11 Nov 2015 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 11 NOV (NAMPA) – DTA of Namibia president, McHenry Venaani has called on President Hage Geingob to declare a state of emergency to deal with the severe drought Namibia is currently facing.
In a media statement issued on Wednesday, Venaani said at a time when eradicating poverty is on the national agenda, it is imperative that one of the most important sources of food security and the livelihoods of many Namibians is not overlooked and is given due attention.
“The agricultural sector is the backbone of the Namibian society and the greater part of our people depend directly or indirectly on income or food derived from agricultural produce,” he said.
Venaani said the government should activate drought disaster relief programmes and measures as farmers will not be able to survive much longer without direct assistance, be it in the form of animal feed or assistance with the maintenance or drilling of additional boreholes, as water scarcity threatens to cripple the agricultural sector.
“The timing of assistance and intervention is particularly crucial for cattle farmers for whom it is currently difficult to envision how they will survive without an integrated feeding subsidy system for cattle and livestock farmers,” he said.
Venaani also called on the Head of State to roll out drought relief programmes before it is too late, saying that by the time the assistance arrives, the animals are in such a bad condition that they cannot be saved or restored to a healthy state where they may still hold reasonable commercial value.