Residents urged not to give up farming due to drought

29 Aug 2013 06:20
By Olavi Haikera
KAHENGE, 29 AUG (NAMPA) - Inhabitants of the Kavango East and Kavango West regions have been urged to prepare for the next ploughing season, and not to sit idle and be discouraged by the drought currently being experienced throughout the country.
Kavango East and Kavango West, dubbed the regions with some of the highest poverty rates in the country, have been badly affected by the current drought, with over 170 000 residents said to be impacted.
The Emergency Food Security Assessment in Communal and Resettlement Areas in Namibia, which was conducted during May this year by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), indicates that an estimated 330 927 Namibian citizens do not have any food security, while 447 577 are only moderately food-secure.
The Kahenge Constituency Councillor in western Kavango, Joseph Sikongo told Nampa on Thursday that disappointment with the previous drought, in addition to the current drought, should not deter subsistence farmers or potential subsistence farmers from farming.
“I have observed, with great concern, that some farmers seem to have given up on farming due to the drought. They think it might not rain again, but they should start clearing their fields,” the Kahenge Councillor urged.
He said this will help in that when the first rains come during the next rainy season, they can start ploughing.
Sikongo indicated that the fact that some wild trees locally known as ‘Munkudi’ and ‘Manganga’ are ripening in the bush is a clear indication ‘traditionally’ that abundant rain might be experienced in the next rainy season.
Munkudi is an indigenous tree, of which the roots are traditionally used in the fermentation of milk to help make it sour, while the Manganga tree contains a white tree sap that carries water and dissolved minerals from the tree’s roots to the stem and leaves.
Sikongo furthermore advised farmers in both regions to refrain from laziness and alcohol abuse, and to work hard to ensure food security in their households.