13 May 2019 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 09 MAY (NAMPA) Government has endorsed drought relief interventions valued at N.dollars 573 million, aimed at assisting affected food insecure households and drought-affected farmers in all 14 regions, Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.
The Premier made the announcement on Thursday during a meeting held with all regional governors on the declaration of emergency national disaster by the Head of State on Monday.
According to a statement availed to the media, the Prime Minister said given the current situation, cabinet has endorsed drought relief interventions aimed at ensuring that no human lives are lost due to a lack of food because of drought, and also to preserve core herds for drought-affected farmers.
The interventions will include food assistance for needy and drought-affected areas, water tankers, livestock marketing incentives in the drought-affected areas, transport subsidy to and from grazing areas including transport for fodder to the affected farmers especially in communal areas, said the Prime Minister.
Other interventions include support for the lease of grazing for the drought-affected farmers, subsidy for crop farmers, lick supplements for a core herd of twenty-five cattle and one bull per farmer including fodder and lick subsidy for about 139 small livestock plus a breeding male.
The Prime Minister further said the implementation of the declared drought emergency requires immediate action in which she noted that for human support, Government has envisaged providing a 12, 5 kilograms bag of maize meal including four tins of fish and one bottle of cooking oil per identified household that have a monthly income not exceeding N.dollars 2 600.
I urge the honourable Governors to spearhead these processes of identification, registration, and distribution of support benefits, she said, adding that the state of emergency will run for a period of six months.
Explaining the cause of the emergency declaration, the prime minister said Namibia is a semi-arid country, and rainfall patterns have mostly been erratic, and the country experienced poor rainfall, which subsequently caused considerable delays in the cultivation activities.
The Prime Minister said it has become clear that livelihoods of the majority of Namibians and the livestock, especially those that depend on agricultural activities, are threatened by a lack of food stuff, water and grazing.
She further indicated that all crop-producing regions are expecting a massive reduction in the expected harvest, with cereal production to reduce by 70 to 80 per cent in the communal areas and by 15 per cent in the commercial areas, below last seasons harvest.