Complaints about drought relief

Household food security is worsening in the northern crop-producing regions.

29 December 2016 | Disasters

People in northern Namibia who depend on drought-relief food from the government say it takes several months for the supplies to reach them, while others claim they have only received it once since the beginning of the year.

According to the Agricultural Inputs and Household Food Security Monitoring Assessment that has just been released by the agriculture ministry, food security continues to weaken. Many households have depleted the last season's poor harvest and are now dependent on the market and the drought relief programme.

The assessment was conducted in the seven northern communal crop-producing regions from 31 October to 25 November.

According to the report over 70% of the Namibian population derives a livelihood directly or indirectly from agriculture, which is mostly rain-fed agriculture.

For the past three seasons the country has experienced the worst drought in its history, the report says.

According to the report, last season's harvest, which was supplemented with market purchases, only lasted until August this year, leaving households completely dependent on the market and drought relief.

“In contrast, last season's drought was very severe when compared with the current season's drought, which showed a slight improvement in agricultural production. Generally, the problem facing the country continues to be lack of food reserves or carryover stock at household level, thereby exposing the majority of households to the vast impacts of food insecurity.”

According to the report households in the northern communal crop-producing regions say the food aid sometimes takes more than three months to reach them. Some households claim to have received food only once this year.

Households interviewed argued that drought relief was supposed to cover all households affected by drought, but was only provided to households considered to be in desperate need.

The government's drought-relief intervention assists more than 700 000 (about 32% of the population) people affected by the drought. The programme includes the provision of food, water, seed and the incentives for farmers to sell their livestock in order to relieve pressure on grazing.

Food assistance started in the 2012/2013 agricultural season and was recently extended to March next year. Food aid is distributed to the most vulnerable households. About 595 839 people continue to receive food assistance, according to the report.

The report says poor rainfall was observed at the beginning of the 2016/2017 rainy season (October to mid-November), and farmers did not start planting then.

By early December, however, the northern and north-eastern parts of the country had received moderate to good rains and planting could start.

Grazing continues to deteriorate in large parts of the country. However, with good showers received in December, the situation is reported to be improving in the north and north-east.

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Harvey's path of destruction

3 weeks ago - 30 August 2017 | Disasters

More than three days after Harvey ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths - including a woman...

Government drafts disaster plan

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2017 | Disasters

Following several years of natural disasters of devastating floods and droughts that have struck the north-central areas of Namibia, an integrated drought and flood management...

Regional force to distribute food in Kunene

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2017 | Disasters

Roughly 1 000 military personnel are expected to participate in the Blue Kunene exercise that will distribute humanitarian aid in the Kunene Region from 20...

Zuma stays put

1 month - 09 August 2017 | Disasters

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has survived a motion of no confidence in his presidency, held via secret ballot in parliament.Following a two-hour debate and...

Water secure until 2020

1 month - 01 August 2017 | Disasters

With the available water resources, as well as the stipulated Windhoek water savings, NamWater is confident that the water security of the central region, particularly...

104 drought boreholes in limbo

1 month - 27 July 2017 | Disasters

The unused boreholes reported on by Namibian Sun last week were not drilled under the South African government's N$100 million donation to Namibia. That funding...

Windhoek digs deep for water

1 month - 24 July 2017 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek is hard at work to diversify water supply options in order to reduce its reliance on bulk supplier NamWater as part...

Enough water for 24 months in central area

2 months ago - 19 July 2017 | Disasters

Cabinet committee member on water supply Pedro Maritz said the central area of Namibia now has enough water to last at least for the next...

Fukushima trial kicks off

2 months ago - 03 July 2017 | Disasters

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) on Friday pleaded not guilty to professional negligence leading to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, though an...

'The drought will be back'

2 months ago - 21 June 2017 | Disasters

Minister for Agriculture, John Mutorwa, has expressed concern about recurring drought conditions globally, brought about by climate change.“It is not a question of whether drought...

Latest News

Namibian Sun turns 10

6 hours ago | History

We are proud to announce that your favourite newspaper, Namibian Sun, has reached an important milestone and is celebrating ten years of existence today. ...

MTC is sorry, free data...

6 hours ago | Technology

Namibia's telecommunications giant MTC hopes that a public apology and declaration of love for their 2.4 million customers, in addition to 300 megabytes of free...

'Teachers are overworked'

6 hours ago | Labour

The Teachers' Union of Namibia (TUN) has accused the government of deliberately overburdening teachers in order to save money while high-ranking officials are living in...

Topnaars fear donkey theft

6 hours ago | Agriculture

The Topnaar community living along the Kuiseb River in the Erongo Region is concerned that proposed donkey abattoirs could lead to an increase in donkey...

Govt explains UN vote

6 hours ago | International

The government has reiterated its commitment to the cause of human rights and ending suffering, and that it must be done through recognised bodies such...

Car crashes kill over 500...

6 hours ago | Accidents

More than 500 people have died in car accidents since January, according to the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund.With three months to go until the...

Stepfather arrested on rape charge

6 hours ago | Crime

The Omusati police have arrested a 59-year-old man from Okalongo who is accused of having slept with his 17-year-old stepdaughter.Namibian Sun on Monday reported that...

Ex-manager pleads not guilty

6 hours ago | Crime

The State yesterday put charges to the former marketing manager of MultiChoice Namibia and she promptly denied that she had defrauded the company of more...

N$70k cash stolen from Ya...

6 hours ago | Crime

The wife of former Robben Island prisoner and icon of the Namibian national liberation struggle, Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, has fallen victim to theft after...

Load More