Govt spent N.dollars 557 million on drought relief last year: Geingob

17 Apr 2019 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 APR (NAMPA) – Government spent N.dollars 557 million on drought relief in 2018, reaching 622 444 Namibians in all 14 regions of the country, President Hage Geingob has said.
Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly (NA) here on Wednesday, Geingob said the adverse weather conditions caused by climate change affected rainfall in 2018.
This, he said, necessitated the mobilisation of additional resources towards drought relief.
“We are assessing the situation, which is expected to worsen, with a view to declare a Drought National Emergency,” he also said.
Giving an account of the actions undertaken by Government to assist food insecurity and hunger in the country, Geingob said a total of 17 260 households were registered as Food Bank beneficiaries in seven regions since its launch in 2016.
Translating into broader impact, Geingob said a total of 77 910 food insecure Namibians were benefiting from the Food Bank.
“I have stated that the Food Bank is not the panacea and is part of a multi-faceted approach, responding to the plight of the food insecure in urban areas,” he said.
The Head of State also indicated that Government subsidised agricultural services through which it availed tractors for harvest, to complement household food security for those who live off the land.
About 162 tractors were deployed to provide subsidised agricultural ploughing services to communal farmers.
He indicated that additional tractors would be acquired by the government to ensure that each crop-producing constituency in the country is serviced by a minimum of four tractors from the current average of two tractors.
Further, coverage continues to increase from 330 000 learners benefiting from the School Feeding Programme in 2016 to 377 521 learners in 2018, to improve school attendance and mitigate attrition, said Geingob.
He also noted that the gravity of the water situation in 2018 necessitated Government to mitigate severe water shortages in Windhoek and central areas in the country.