14 Sep 2013 01:20
TIANJIN, 14 SEP (NAMPA) - Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku says about 900 000 Namibians are affected by the drought which the country is currently experiencing.
Hausiku told Nampa in an interview here on Thursday before he left for Namibia although a huge number of Namibians are affected by the drought, the situation is still manageable.
The drought situation is manageable and more than 90 per cent of affected people are receiving drought relief currently, he stated.
Hausiku, accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Peya Mushelenga amongst other Government officials, was in China for a four-day working visit.
He told this agency that before his trip to China he visited several regions and had meetings with councillors, regional governors and suppliers.
The meetings were aimed at encouraging the governors, councillors and suppliers to liaise with each other on a daily basis in order to ensure that drought relief food reaches the intended beneficiaries.
The Deputy PM also rubbished rumours that the distribution of drought relief food is skewed and that drought relief aid is not reaching the intended beneficiaries, saying that so far, 90 per cent of registered affected people have received food.
Whenever there is an emergency there will always be rumours and panic. Our distribution of drought relief food is done correctly and to the correct people.
We have to do the distribution correctly because not only Namibian resources are spent on drought relief. There are also resources provided by different donors, governments and individuals which we have to report to on what we did with all the donations after the drought is over, he stated.
Hausiku said such a responsibility requires not only the distribution of food, but also making sure that the food reaches all affected people.
We will not allow mismanagement of the resources, he stated.
During the interview, Hausiku also announced that the N.dollars 243 million given to Namibia by the government of China will be used to promote food security.
Namibia will receive approximately N.dollars 243 million (150 million Yuan) from the Chinese Government, Vice-Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of China, Ma Kai announced earlier this week during a meeting with Hausiku.
The meeting took place after the official opening of the 17th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen.
Ma said the grant will be used for developmental projects in Namibia, and will be officially handed over to Namibia once the two governments have worked out all modalities, which include the identification of the projects to be funded.
We intend to consult as a government to look at how we can promote food security with this grant, the Deputy PM said, adding that although other projects are not excluded, food security will be the highest priority.
On 17 May, President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared an emergency situation as a result of the drought in Namibia. He appealed to the international community for assistance.
Following a prolonged dry period during the 2012/13 cropping season, Namibia's main cereal crop output for 2013 suffered a severe decline.
In some parts, the cumulative rains between January and March were approximately one-third of the average and a 50 per cent below average cereal production was expected.
Livestock conditions are also deteriorating due to lack of water.