UPM wants drought declared a national disaster

06 Feb 2019 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 06 FEB (NAMPA) – The United People’s Movement (UPM) says it has taken note of the terrible situation farmers are experiencing across the country as some areas did not receive any rain for almost seven years.
This was said by UPM vice president Jan van Wyk in a media statement on Wednesday, also urging the government to come on board to assist farmers in all areas, as some small farmers are selling off their livestock in desperation.
He said this could result in massive job losses in the agricultural sector, something that can seriously affect revenue and national reserves, and called on Government to declare the ongoing drought a national disaster.
Van Wyk noted that some areas received little or no rain during the 2017/18 rainy season, which resulted in farmers losing huge numbers of livestock and game.
“The UPM suggests to farmers to start destocking and only retain a small portion of livestock to restart farming when the rain comes, and also request Government to implement a programme to assist farmers to restock as soon as their farms have recovered after the rains,” said Van Wyk.
He said his party already advanced a ‘national prayer day for rain’ on 20 January 2019 and appreciates the prayer weeks organised by various churches and also the efforts from various stakeholders who have come to the rescue of some farmers.
“However, national programmes through Government should come into operation as a matter of urgency,” concluded Van Wyk.