Engen pledges for drought relief

Five cents per litre of petrol

04 June 2019 | Disasters

Engen Namibia has heeded calls to assist the Dare to Care Fund, in order to help the country's farmers amid the national drought crisis.

From 1 June to 31 August, Engen will contribute five cents to the fund for every litre of petrol purchased from Engen service stations locally.

“Our target is to raise N$3 million to help the country's commercial and subsistence farmers in this hour of extreme need,” said Christian Li, Engen Namibia's managing director.

Engen said as a responsible corporate citizen it is committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the social needs of the communities in which it operates.

“We are therefore delighted to partner with Dare to Care, to help resolve the great challenge facing Namibian agriculture and to play a role in providing some assistance where needed,” said Li.

Dare to Care was established in 2000 by members of the agricultural sector to assist victims of veldfires. Since then it has broadened its assistance to include, amongst others, victims of floods and farm attacks, and the San people.

The agricultural sector, including the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU), Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), and the private sector have joined hands under the Dare to Care umbrella and set an ambitious target to collect N$10 million.

“As Engen, we hope that our five-cents-per-litre-of-fuel-sold initiative will help them achieve their target and make feed more affordable to the farmers,” Li said.

He the money raised will be used to subsidise certain feeds to make them more affordable.

Li said despite the mounting challenges, in the face of no rain, he is optimistic that the coming together of numerous Namibian stakeholders will achieve a substantial measure of success in assisting farmers during this difficult time

“We are exceptionally grateful for the support of Engen Namibia and hope that Namibian motorists will go to Engen to refuel, so that we can have maximum donations for these three months. We also hope that other Namibian businesses follow suit, in helping to alleviate the burden of the drought on our farmers,” the Dare to Care Foundation said in a statement.

SGA Chartered Accountants and Auditors has been appointed to perform a full-scope financial audit on the fund to ensure transparency and accountability.

President Hage Geingob officially declared a drought state of emergency on 6 May. This is the third time in six years that government has declared a state of emergency as a result of drought. Drought was also declared a national crisis in 2013 and 2016.

Cabinet has endorsed drought relief interventions valued at N$572.7 million to assist food insecure households and drought-affected farmers in all 14 regions.

The approved interventions include food assistance for the needy and drought-affected, water tankers, livestock marketing incentives in drought-affected areas, a transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, and transport for fodder, especially in communal areas.

ELLANIE SMIT