Drought leaves Namibians desperate

Farmers are calling for a feasible disaster risk management strategy.

15 May 2019 | Economics

Now the cattle feed on tree leaves which is not sustainable. - Charles Likezo, Headman: Silonga village

Ndalimpinga Iita - When there is a prolonged dry spell, the sea of withered amber crops becomes a common sight in the northern part of Namibia.

Every day before the sun was up, Liina Mupopya from Oshana region in northern Namibia came to observe her pearl millet field. However, the sight of withered crops disheartened her.

"The rain is delayed and some crops become withered. Some have not even germinated," said Mupopya.

Namibia had been experiencing droughts since 2013, affecting about 60% of the households dependent on crop farming and agriculture.

The current dry spell is particularly severe.

According to the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry, the 2018/19 rainfall season was fraught with unprecedented rainfall patterns, with crop-producing regions expecting a poor and below average crop production.

The ministry said recently that Namibia could expect a reduction in harvest of at least 53% from last season's harvest.

For Mupopya, the dilemma was how to sustain her household.

"[I would expect] no yields to harvest this year. I have a big family, mainly counting on the farm production for sustenance and income. How can I cover other expenditures like medical expenses?" she asked.


The challenges facing Mupopya were prevalent in other regions across the country.

In the northeast part of Zambezi region, Charles Likezo, headman of Silonga village, said the area had barely received any rain during the current season, leading to a massive reduction in yields and investment made towards farming.

"We spent much money at the start of the farming season on labour and other efforts," he said.

According to him, villagers spent an average of N$350 ploughing fields and gave a further N$200 each to people who helped with weeding the fields.

"This was very costly because a farmer ploughs an average of three to six hectares of land, and in addition hires more than five people to help with the weeding, but all in vain," said Likezo.

Livestock production, which is dependent on the crop production, was also affected.

"Our livestock will die because of lack of grazing," said Likezo. "Now the cattle feed on tree leaves which is not sustainable."


Mwilima Mushokobanji, executive director of Namibia National Farmers Union, said the country's persistent drought patterns had affected the production capacity of the agricultural sector and the socio-economic standing of the farmers.

President Hage Geingob recently declared a state of emergency. The government announced a package of about N$573 million for drought relief.

Mushokobanji welcomed the government's decision to provide drought relief and fodder for livestock farmers.

But to solve the drought issue in the long term, he urged key stakeholders to come up with a feasible disaster risk management strategy, which will enable farmers to withstand the effects of adverse climate change. – Nampa/Xinhua

Similar News


2 000 companies, 16 000 workers

1 day - 14 July 2020 | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAbout 2 000 employers and 16 000 workers have so far applied to the Social Security Commission (SSC) for assistance, as Covid-19 salary cuts...

Zimbabwe to review lockdown measures

1 day - 14 July 2020 | Economics

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa warned that the nationwide Covid-19-induced lockdown could be further tightened due to a spike in new infections.Mnangagwa declared a total Covid-19...

Millions for development in Oshana

2 days ago - 13 July 2020 | Economics

OSHAKATI – The Oshana region was allocated a development budget of nearly N$243.8 million for the 2020/21 financial year.Upgrading and renovation of education infrastructure due...

IEA sees oil output recovery

2 days ago - 13 July 2020 | Economics

Paris - Oil output hit a nine-year low last month as producers reacted to the plunge in demand triggered by the coronavirus crisis, the IEA...

Ghanaian govt sued to save forest from mine

5 days ago - 10 July 2020 | Economics

Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu – Environmental activists have sued Ghana's government to stop a proposed mining project in a protected national forest, which they say endangers...

New water infrastructure at Sorris-Sorris

6 days ago - 09 July 2020 | Economics

Farmers at Plaas Rooidak in the Sorris- Sorris communal conservancy have finally received potable water infrastructure after enduring 10 years without their own water source.Conservancy...

Namibia receives 2.35 million USD worth of support

6 days ago - 09 July 2020 | Economics

China has donated Covid-19 related supplies worth 40 million Namibian dollars (2.35 million US dollars) to Namibia to assist the country in fighting the virus,...

Khorixas town council to prioritise

1 week ago - 08 July 2020 | Economics

The Khorixas town council plans to spend its development budget of N$13 860 000 for the 2020/21 financial year on priority areas such as servicing...

Food security crucial in a selfish world

1 week ago - 08 July 2020 | Economics

The world has entered an era of “every country for itself”, leaving Namibia with no choice but to pursue policies that are aimed towards food...

Africa’s battle against 'zombie' appliances

1 week ago - 08 July 2020 | Economics

Peyton Fleming - On Nigeria's bustling streets, stalls selling stacks of well-worn, energy-sucking refrigerators and air conditioners are known as "tokunbo", a Yoruba word that...

Latest News

War vets furious over housing...

8 hours ago | Infrastructure

ILENI NANDJATOONESIPeople's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) pioneer war veterans - most of whom are still living in poverty and squalor - say they are...

Officials 'sabotaging' Swapo-led government

8 hours ago | Government

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUNational Council audit committee chairperson Lebbeus Tobias has described the neglect of borders and challenges faced by border staff as “sabotage” of the Swapo-led...

Accord war vets the necessary...

8 hours ago | Opinion

War veterans who complained in today's edition of Namibian Sun that government is delaying their so-called 'tokens of appreciation' such as houses and start-up capital...

Fishing company delivers on promise

8 hours ago | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWEKASOTEA fishing company has delivered on its promise to build a home for a poverty-stricken family of seven at Kasote village in Kavango West.Two...

Wife killer's brutality 'unsurpassed'

8 hours ago | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKHigh Court Judge Naomi Shivute has described Andries Hermanus Johannes Scott's brutal trampling to death of his wife, Anna Scott, in August 2017 as...

Hefty fines for pangolin smuggling

8 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKTwo new cases of wildlife crime were reported last week and three suspects were arrested, while two men found guilty of the illegal possession...

Half of Namibians can't afford...

8 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe number of hungry people in Namibia has increased by 100 000 in over a decade, according to a United Nations report. However, there...

Corona relief from Agribank

8 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK Agribank recently kicked off its countrywide stakeholder information workshops on its coronavirus relief stimulus package. The bank introduced the stimulus package on...

WorldSkills Namibia celebrates World Youth...

8 hours ago | Education

ELIZABETH JOSEPHWINDHOEKNamibia today joins the rest of the world in marking World Youth Skills Day, an annual event which recognises the importance of equipping young...

Load More