Erongo Region worst hit by drought

Isaac Chikosi

The Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah met with stakeholders last week as well as leaders of traditional authorities within the region to discuss and assess the current drought condition in Swakopmund. Earlier this month, President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency in all regions due to the drought precipitated by poor rainfall.

In his welcoming speech, Erongo regional governor Cleophas Mutjavikua said that Erongo region is worst affected by the current drought and water shortages, citing that the present situation has resulted in animals and live-stock migrating away from the region. Mutjavikua added that the current water woes faced by Uis and Omaruru are serious as the underground water table may not be able to support the demand.
Mutjavikua appealed to the office of the prime minister that the farms set aside for the resettlement programme be used instead as alternative grazing for affected farmers.
“We are all required to make concerted efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought”, said Nandi-Ndaitwah. “No-one should die as a result of the drought.” She added that the country faces serious food shortages as crop failure on a communal scale affects food security in urban areas.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah the government has made avail-able over N$570 mil-lion for food assistance, transportation of water to affected areas, livestock and transport of livestock and feed. Ultimately, a reduction in herd sizes would help alleviate the current situation for farmers well as identifying alternative grazing areas for live-stock.
Traditional leaders in the Dâures constituency which largely depend on communal subsistence farming expressed their concerns over the broken boreholes and some that have dried up exacerbating the water crisis in the area for both humans and livestock.
Jefta Itenge, the Director for the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management outlined the requirements necessary to be eligible for drought relief aid, adding that the criteria will be assessed to benefit the individuals most affected. Poor rainfall across parts of the country, has not only left communities dry, but could be the cause of increased human-wildlife conflict.

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