Cabinet extends drought relief to 2017

10 Jun 2016 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUNE (NAMPA) – Cabinet has decided to extend the drought relief programme to March 2017, following the previous 3-month extension from May to July.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya made the announcement during a media conference here on Thursday.
“Due to the seriousness of the drought situation that is affecting virtually the entire Southern Africa and to which Namibia is not an exception, and taking all these factors into account, and also the fact that we are facing a critical water situation, Cabinet directed that there should be an immediate action to mobilise financial resources.”
Cabinet further directed that a review of the current budget should be undertaken in order to re-look the current budgetary allocations to relevant capital projects and vacancies in offices, ministries and agencies.
Cabinet earlier this year decided to extend the drought relief programme on 24 May 2016 for three months until late July, pending the finalisation of the vulnerability assessment report.
“It is therefore clear that substantial financial resources will be required in order to comply with the directive of President Hage Geingob that no Namibian must die of hunger as a result of drought.”
Namibia is battling a drought since 2013 when former President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared a State of Emergency.
Farmers have been struggling to cope with the effects of the recurrent drought situation, compounded by climate change and erratic rainfall.
These factors have had a negative impact on the output of producers in the agricultural sector.
Statistics from Government's drought relief programme states that nearly 600 000 people are facing food deficit while more than N.dollars 300 million is needed to acquire close to 83 400 metric tonnes of cereal.