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

 

Northern regions without water

3 weeks ago - 05 May 2017 | Disasters

A serious water shortage is being experienced in the Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto regions after the seasonal efundja flood caused extensive damage to NamWater's...

No will in Amarika water crisis

3 weeks ago - 05 May 2017 | Disasters

The water woes of the Amarika community appear to be eternal. Despite a visit by the deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President...

New plan for marine oil spills

4 weeks ago - 27 April 2017 | Disasters

Cabinet has approved the new Draft National Marine Pollution Contingency Plan that will replace Namibia's first National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) which has become...

Water is Namibia's Achilles heel

1 month - 27 March 2017 | Disasters

Water security in Namibia is not only being threatened by increased demand for water, which in some areas has outstripped supply, but it is further...

No planning for efundja - DTA

2 months ago - 23 March 2017 | Disasters

DTA president McHenry Venaani says he is appalled by the government's handling of the seasonal efundja flood in the north. He says despite ample...

100 days of water for Cape Town

2 months ago - 20 March 2017 | Disasters

The crown jewel of South Africa's tourism industry, Cape Town has 100 days before it runs out of water.After two years of the least rainfall...

Govt liable for Fukishima

2 months ago - 20 March 2017 | Disasters

A court in Japan on Friday ruled that Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) and the government are liable for negligence in a case involving compensation for...

Ministry mum on aquifer

2 months ago - 16 March 2017 | Disasters

ILENI NANDJATO Despite the fact that the Ohangwena Region has a massive aquifer estimated to hold around 20 billion cubic...

Windhoek water restrictions still in place

2 months ago - 14 March 2017 | Disasters

Despite the recent good rains and rising dam levels, Windhoek's water restrictions are still in place, because long-term water supply remains a critical concern.City of...

Mother clings to tree for 6 hours

2 months ago - 14 March 2017 | Disasters

A Zimbabwean woman, Nyaradzo Makholiso, 38, miraculously survived cyclone induced floods by “hanging precariously on a tree branch for six hours”, with her two-month-old baby...

Latest News

Ex-governor dies after vicious attack

8 hours ago | Crime

STAFF REPORTERThe former governor of Omusati Region, Leonard Nangolo Mukwiilongo, has succumbed to injuries after he was brutally attacked at his Elim residence in April...

Wage bill threatens fiscal stability

8 hours ago | Government

JANA-MARI SMITHGovernment’s politically motivated refusal to thin out its costly civil service, and an 84% civil service wage bill hike over three years, could potentially...

Shifeta plans to ban hunting...

8 hours ago | Environment

Namibia has already started feeling the backlash from photos posted on social media of farmers gloating over dead lions that they killed illegally.Environment minister Pohamba...

Competitive rates at motor show

8 hours ago | Business

If you're in looking for a new set of wheels, this year's Namibia Tourism Expo will be the perfect place to start, with competitive offers...

Time to speak up about...

8 hours ago | Justice

Namibians of all backgrounds are being urged to share their stories of discrimination and intolerance during a number of public and community hearings over the...

More skulls to return

8 hours ago | History

The Namibian embassy in Berlin has informed the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation that 16 human remains of Namibian origin were identified and are...

Kalkfeld’s future on the line

8 hours ago | Life Style

With more than 90% unemployment at the Kalkfeld settlement in the Otjozondjupa Region, many inhabitants say the future looks bleak and they fear not only...

Swapo and the flawed primaries

8 hours ago | Opinion

As Swapo prepares for what is expected to be a watershed congress towards the end of the year, the ruling party is under pressure to...

I am a carnivore and...

8 hours ago | Opinion

I never understand the fuss that goes around losing weight. All of a sudden everyone – including that girl from down the street who in...

Load More