14 Nov 2013 14:00pm
RUNDU, 14 NOV (NAMPA) - Inhabitants of the Kavango East and Kavango West regions seemingly have not been discouraged by the drought, as they have already started clearing their mahangu fields in preparation for the ploughing season.
Nampa has observed that in some villages in these regions, most subsistence farmers have already started working on their land by, amongst others, burning shrubs on their mahangu fields so that the fields could be ready for planting.
Even some of the farmers who appeared to have given up due to the lack of rain are now thinking twice after some heavy showers were experienced in the north-eastern town of Rundu and surrounding areas since Tuesday this week, erasing doubts about the prospect of rainfall this season.
Farming activities traditionally commence during the months of November and December, as this is also the time when rainfall commonly occurs.
We have started clearing our fields because maybe there will be rain this season and we dont want to face food shortages again, said a subsistence farmer at the Kaguni village, situated some 30 kilometres south of Rundu.
Rundu Rural East Constituency Councillor Michael Shikongo told this reporter in an interview earlier this week that he has already urged people in his area to actively start farming this season and to not sit idle, as the area might receive rainfall this season.
Kahenge Constituency Councillor in the Kavango West Region, Joseph Sikongo during an earlier interview said disappointment with the previous lack of rain, in addition to the current drought, should not deter subsistence farmers or potential subsistence farmers from farming.
Sikongo noted that some wild trees locally known as Munkudi and Manganga are blossoming, and traditionally, this is taken as a sign that abundant rain can be experienced in the next rainy season.
He urged farmers in both regions to refrain from laziness and to work hard to ensure food security in their households.
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.