Declare state of emergency in Kunene

12 March 2021 | Columns

The picture of humans and animals scrambling for rotten items at waste disposal sites in Kunene are the clearest evidence yet that the region is hanging onto life by a thread.

This makes perfect, but sad, sense since this is a region that has endured seven years of dreadful drought. It’s a region littered with skeletons of thousands of livestock and where poverty has tightened its grip because the only sources of livelihood – livestock and agriculture – no longer exist.

This is a humanitarian crisis and the sooner the authorities admit this, the better for Kunene and its residents. Livestock mortalities have become the norm, But we should be afraid that human lives are the next endangered targets of this drought.

A state of emergency thus seems the only sensible intervention under the circumstances. This would ignite deliberate interventions in state aid to supplement local resources, thereby helping to prevent or alleviate damages, loss, hardship and further suffering.

When we shine the light deliberately on Kunene Region, we are alerting the bleeding-hearted liberals of the world to reach for their pocket and part with cents needed to save lives in a region that has historically been home to poverty and under-development.

We should not wait for Kunene to disappear into the abyss of neglect because we will never be able to repair damage of that magnitude.

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