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

 

Nam dagga trafficking smoked in SA

3 days ago - 18 October 2019 | Disasters

More than N$5 million worth of dagga that was headed for Namibia was confiscated by the South African Police this week. Four suspects arrested...

Namibia's 'wasted' children

3 days ago - 18 October 2019 | Disasters

The latest State of the World's Children Report says at least one in three children under five suffer from malnutrition in its more visible forms:...

'Serious' hunger levels in Namibia

4 days ago - 17 October 2019 | Disasters

Faced with one of the worst droughts in a century, Namibia has a serious hunger problem, a global report tracking the state of hunger worldwide...

Focus on recovery after drought

5 days ago - 16 October 2019 | Disasters

The recovery from the drought that the country is currently facing was the main focus point at three large conferences held last week to discuss...

Over 60 000 livestock died of starvation

2 weeks ago - 04 October 2019 | Disasters

More than 60 000 livestock have succumbed to famine this year, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb has said.!Naruseb announced the figure during a consultative meeting Prime...

Third of Namibians on drought aid

2 weeks ago - 03 October 2019 | Disasters

More than a third of the Namibian population is dependent on drought relief, which has prompted government to extend the state of emergency to March...

Hardap is running dry

2 weeks ago - 01 October 2019 | Disasters

Farmers in the Hardap Region have decided to cut back irrigation by 40% to save water in the Hardap Dam, which is now reaching crisis...

Call on govt to transport fodder

3 weeks ago - 30 September 2019 | Disasters

Despite various efforts by the government to assist livestock farmers with animal fodder as part of drought relief assistance, some farmers in the Kunene Region...

On their knees

4 weeks ago - 23 September 2019 | Disasters

Johanna Ndumba (79), who lives with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren at Ngaramateya village in the Rundu Urban constituency is pleading for support, as they have...

N$6m for drought relief

4 weeks ago - 23 September 2019 | Disasters

The Meat Board of Namibia has donated N$6 million towards drought relief efforts in the country.The money will be used to assist with the marketing...

Latest News

Desert Jewels draw against Singapore

12 hours ago | Sports

The Desert Jewels drew against better-ranked Singapore at the M1 Nations Cup, which is currently underway.The 28th ranked Singapore battled hard to earn a 54-54...

Manifestos vague on thorny issues

12 hours ago | Columns

Swapo has been criticised for its perceived 'half-baked' manifesto, but the opposition has not really done better either.A lot of desperate lies are being told...

All hail the Brave Blossoms!

12 hours ago | Sports

Despite being marred by a devastating typhoon, which sadly claimed lives, the Japan Rugby World Cup has reached the semifinal phase.The host nation qualified for...

Namibia boost rankings

12 hours ago | Sports

SPORT REPORTER Namibia’s 3x3 national basketball team recently competed in Doha, Qatar at the 2019 World Beach Games, also known as the ANOC World Beach...

Chiefs, Pirates squeeze through

12 hours ago | Sports

South African crowd-pullers Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who have been experiencing unprecedented trophy droughts, squeezed into the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals this weekend. Desperate for...

Epukiro All-Stars win Omaheke derby

12 hours ago | Sports

Epukiro All-Stars won the Omaheke football derby under the auspices of the Namibia Rural Sport Development Federation (NRSDF) that was held at the Khomasdal Stadium...

Clubs groom future stars

12 hours ago | Sports

The Namibia Gymnastics Federation national tumbling, double-mini and trampoline competition, which took place in Walvis Bay this past weekend, was a thriller.The competition, which also...

290 000 food insecure

12 hours ago | Agriculture

About 290 000 people in Namibia are experiencing food insecurity during the ongoing drought, resulting in many suffering from malnutrition. Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said...

Cybercriminals run riot in Namibia

12 hours ago | Crime

Namibia is the African country most targeted by cybercriminals, a new report by Check Point has revealed. The report corresponds with an earlier one done...

Load More