27 May 2016 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 27 MAY (NAMPA) - Cabinet has approved the extension of the 2015/16 Drought Relief Programme for three months until July 2016.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya made the announcement on Friday when he briefed the media on the outcome of a Cabinet meeting held last Tuesday.
The programme covers measures such as procurement of food for affected communities and households; provision of water for human and animal consumption by drilling new boreholes and rehabilitating old ones; and assistance to crop producers and livestock farmers.
The distribution of food and logistic costs amounting to N.dollars 89 million will also be sourced from the National Emergency Disaster Fund, which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
Cabinet earlier this year approved the implementation of a comprehensive Drought Relief Programme up to March 2016 to provide food assistance to about 578 480 drought impacted people.
An amount of N.dollars 631 million was allocated to this programme from the OPM's N.dollars 485 744 000 portion of the 2016/17 N.dollars 61 billion national budget.
The approved interventions included water provision through drilling and rehabilitation of boreholes as well as water pipeline extensions; drought livestock marketing incentives schemes consisting of transport and lease of grazing, and marketing incentives.
Additionally, seeds were provided at a subsidised price as well as for free.
The extension is however pending the outcome of the Annual Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis and Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation report.
The report is an assessment of the crop condition in major communal crop growing regions in Namibia to provide early warnings on geographic locations of agronomic anomalies, the effects of floods, droughts and other significant events.
The last report, which was released in July last year, pointed out several challenges with tractor services that forced farmers to opt for the expensive privately owned tractors rather than using Government tractors, which are cheaper.
The main reason cited is that Government tractor owners prefer to provide ploughing services to those paying cash necessary for fuelling and maintenance instead of a delayed payment by Government.