Drought a national disaster – farmers

Farmers across the country are in dire need of assistance and need the drought declared a national disaster for international funding to be secured.

17 April 2019 | Disasters

The Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) and the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers' Union (NECFU) have urgently requested agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to declare the 2019 drought a national disaster.

According to the NAU, this is needed so international support can be sourced. Cabinet last month approved a N$572.7 million drought relief intervention, in a bid to assist drought-affected communities.

The NAU said according to independent reports, conditions on 92% of all rangelands in Namibia are below normal, while a staggering 64% of the country has 20% of its normal vegetation cover.

“It is further estimated that the water currently available in the Hardap Dam will not be able to sustain irrigation at current levels until the end of year,” the NAU said.

It said the pressure on current livestock marketing channels is immense, with plummeting auction prices due to an oversupply of especially lean animals.

A large portion of the dryland maize harvest has already been destroyed.

“Feedback has been received from the Office of the Prime Minister that they are busy with the prescribed process in order to enable President Hage Geingob to declare a national disaster,” said the NAU.

According to the rainfall bulletin for March, issued by the Meteorological Service Division in the works ministry, the month of March showed more depressed rainfall activity over most of the country.

“This puts the final nail into having a good rainy season,” the rainfall report said.

Eastern Erongo through to Otjizondjupa and Kavango West received over 40 millimetres of rain during March, which is far below the average rainfall for the period.

The Zambezi Region received very little to no rainfall during the month, escalating the seasonal rainfall deficit further.

On the other hand Karibib, Usakos, Otjimbingwe and Wilhelmstal received rainfall of up to 60 millimetres towards the end of the month.

Areas southwest of Otjiwarongo also received rainfall of close to 100 millimetres during March.

Last Monday, the country's dams held 30.1% of their capacity, according to a dam bulletin issued by NamWater.

Currently there are 210 716 million cubic metres of water left in all the country's dams, with the largest one, the Hardap Dam in Mariental, holding 71 827 million cubic metres last Monday.

Last year during this period, the dams were 41% full, holding 293 036 million cubic metres of water.

Dams in the central areas are 22.5% full, while last season they were 35.1% full.

Farmers have been forced to drastically reduce their herds, due to a shortage of grazing - an issue that is further compounded by water scarcity and the fact that water levels in boreholes in some areas are very low.

Meanwhile, the Dare to Care feed subsidy initiative started on 8 April at all participating retailers countrywide.

A total of 76 000 bags of feed can be subsidised with the available funds.

The NAU said the demand for the subsidised feed is overwhelming and at the end of the first week it was estimated that 50% of the available funds were used.

Dare to Care is still meeting with corporates to generate more funds. An initiative was also launched to obtain international funds from European farmer organisations and hunters. There will also be an action to collect funds on April 18 at the Okapuka roadblock, in cooperation with Woermann & Brock.

In June 2016, Geingob declared a state of emergency due to then ongoing drought in the country.

This was the second time in three years the government declared a state of emergency. In 2013, former president Hifikepunye Pohamba declared an emergency, while saying more than 4 000 animals had died and about 300 000 people were affected by the drought that year.

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Drought a national disaster – farmers

5 days ago - 17 April 2019 | Disasters

The Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) and the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers' Union (NECFU) have urgently requested agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to declare the 2019 drought...

Otwa taalela ondjala onene

5 days ago - 17 April 2019 | Disasters

Pahapu dhoNAU, onkalo ndjoka oya pumbwa eyambidhdho enene lyopashigwana. Okabinete omwedhi gwa piti oka zimine oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 572.7 shoka sha nuninwa eyambidhidho lyaakwashigwana omolwa onkalo...

Compounding impacts of crippling drought

1 week ago - 10 April 2019 | Disasters

Rainfall during southern Africa's 2018/19 wet season started nearly a month late and was characterised by extended dry spells between January and March, and concluded...

Don’t depend on food banks - SPYL

2 weeks ago - 08 April 2019 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has called government to rein in spending on luxuries, while also calling on Namibians not to depend...

Farmers on the edge

3 weeks ago - 26 March 2019 | Disasters

The executive director of the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), Mwilima Mushokavanji, says the drought situation is very serious and it is especially communal farmers...

Namibia okwa taalela oshikukuta oshinene

3 weeks ago - 26 March 2019 | Disasters

Oshikukuta ngashiingeyi osha pumbwa okutalikako onga onkalo yopaulumomhumbwe moNamibia na otashi gumu noonkondo oomwenyo dhaantu oyendji moshilongo, onkene oshilongo nashi kale shiilongekidhila onkalo ndjoka. Omunambelewa...

N$572m for drought relief

1 month - 22 March 2019 | Disasters

Cabinet has announced a N$572.7 million drought relief package for 2019 to 2020. The money is set to cover food assistance, water tankers, livestock management...

Unfinished pipeline causes critical water shortage

1 month - 15 March 2019 | Disasters

A decision by the Oshikoto regional council to extend the Ondangwa-Omuntele pipeline has left the Omuntele area with a critical water shortage. A further...

Low Orange River a disaster

1 month - 15 March 2019 | Disasters

Low water levels in the lower Orange River could have severe consequences for grape farmers in the area, such as production losses, labour cutbacks and...

Water crisis at Lüderitz

1 month - 14 March 2019 | Disasters

JANA-MARI SMITH Lüderitz residents and businesses were scrambling for water and information yesterday, nearly two days after most...

Latest News

Chinese embassy condemns Andara killing

3 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Crime

The Chinese embassy has condemned the killing of a 32-year-old man at Andara in Kavango East yesterday. The man was allegedly shot and killed by...

Thought Leadership

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Columns

Ashante MannettiIn this fast-paced world we try to juggle a million things at once. Job, family, friends, eating healthy and we know we still need...

Taking charge

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | People

Mariselle Stofberg Anthea van Heerden decided to take a leap of faith to start her own company in Windhoek.She is the managing director and...

Chained worker 'joke' backfires

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Labour

Nic Kruger, the owner of Kruger Trading Enterprises (KTE) Custom Body Work in Windhoek, yesterday vehemently defended the honour of his foreman who had chained...

Gangster's paradise

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob has revealed that 329 red-flagged financial transactions, involving N$9.2 billion, have been referred by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) for further investigation...

ACC probes Katiti

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Crime

Augustinus Katiti's attempts to have the Anti-Corruption Commission investigate his successor at the Namibia Institute of Pathology have backfired. The ACC is now investigating Katiti...

Kabajani blossoms at GIPF

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | People

Michelline Nawatises Annette Likeleli Kabajani is a holder of a bachelor’s degree from the University of Namibia (Unam). She has also attained several management and...

Baking a name for herself!

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | People

Ester Kamati At the age of 28, Alma Tangi Nakanduungileh is climbing the entrepreneurial ladder and adding sweetness to her clients’ lives. A qualified...

A passion to unlock potential

4 days ago - 18 April 2019 | People

Ester KamatiJustina Mulokoshi is a chartered accountant (CA) at PwC who has big dreams and is constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve...

Load More