Namibians dread worsening droughts

22 August 2019 | Disasters

While Namibia is battling one of its worst droughts in history a mere 38% of Namibians say that droughts in the country have not become more severe over the past ten years, while 63% feel that climate change is making life harder for them.

This is according to the largest-ever survey of Africans' perceptions of climate change, which has revealed widespread reports of worsening quality of life and deteriorating conditions for agricultural production, as well as limited climate change literacy among average citizens.

In the ninth of its Pan-Africa Profiles series based on recent public-opinion surveys in 34 African countries, Afrobarometer reports that only 34% of Namibians feel that the climate has become much worse for agricultural production over the past ten years.

The report further notes that although 52% of Namibians say they are aware of climate change, only 26% of them actually understand that climate change has negative consequences. According to the report only 16% of Namibians can be considered “climate change literate”, which means they understand it to have negative consequences, and they recognise it as being caused at least in part by human activity. The report adds that 36% of Namibians are aware of climate change and 40% have never even heard of climate change.

Furthermore 30% of Namibians blame human activity for climate change while 22% of Namibians say that both human activity and natural processes are to blame, and 17% feel that they can do little to stop the impact of climate change.

In May this year the current drought in Namibia was declared a national disaster.

This is the third time in six years that the government has declared a state of emergency because of drought. Drought was declared a national crisis in 2013 and in 2016 as well. Since 2013, most parts of Namibia have recorded below-normal rainfall, which has left grazing pastures exhausted and with little recovery.

According to the report climate change is “the defining development challenge of our time,” and Africa is most vulnerable to its consequences.

Long-term changes in temperatures and rainfall patterns are a particular menace to Africa, where agriculture forms the economic backbone of development priorities such as food security and poverty eradication.

The report says that across the continent, among people who have heard of climate change, a large majority say it is making life worse and it needs to be stopped. But four in ten Africans are unfamiliar with the concept of climate change.

Only about three in ten people in Africa are fully “climate change literate,” combining awareness of climate change with basic knowledge about its causes and negative effects.

The report notes that ordinary Africans say climate conditions for agricultural production have become worse in their region over the past decade. Overwhelming majorities see worse weather for growing crops in Uganda (85%), Malawi (81%), and Lesotho (79%).

In most countries, the main culprit is more severe drought, but in Malawi, Madagascar, and eSwatini, most citizens say both droughts and flooding have become worse.

The report says almost six in ten Africans (58%) have heard of climate change, including more than three quarters of Mauritians (83%), Malawians (78%), and Ugandans (78%). South Africa (41%) is one of just five countries where fewer than half of citizens have heard of climate change.

“Groups that are less familiar with the concept of climate change include rural residents, women, the poor, and the less-educated, as well as people who work in agriculture.”

The poor are the most affected by climate change, according to survey responses. Almost three quarters (73%) of poor respondents say climate change is making life worse, compared to 60% of those who are well off. Older respondents are also somewhat more likely to complain about the effects of climate change with 70% of aged 56 and older, compared to 66% of young people.


Similar News


Millions for drought relief

1 day - 18 September 2019 | Disasters

Countries are donating millions in aid to Namibia to assist the thousands of people that are in desperate need food assistance during the current drought.The...

Windhoek's water situation dire

2 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has issued an urgent warning to residents to reduce their water usage following the failure to meet the water consumption target....

Water crisis: residents respond

2 weeks ago - 05 September 2019 | Disasters

Over the past two weeks Windhoek residents continued a positive streak of consuming less water than the maximum target but City authorities warned that on...

90 000 livestock perish

2 weeks ago - 04 September 2019 | Disasters

It is estimated that nearly 90 000 livestock have already died from October 2018 to June this year due to the devastating drought that has...

Namibians dread worsening droughts

4 weeks ago - 22 August 2019 | Disasters

While Namibia is battling one of its worst droughts in history a mere 38% of Namibians say that droughts in the country have not become...

Save water before summer

1 month - 16 August 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek residents managed to meet the municipality's water savings target in July, but need to redouble their efforts as temperatures start rising.The municipality is urging...

39% of Namibians hungry

1 month - 15 August 2019 | Disasters

A shocking 39% of Namibians were severely food insecure by 2018, while 821.6 million people worldwide did not have enough food to eat, as hunger...

Lifeline for stranded Chobe hippos

1 month - 15 August 2019 | Disasters

An emergency borehole has successfully been drilled to pump water into a Chobe River pond, where about 68 hippos are stranded in the drying river....

Not out of the woods yet

1 month - 13 August 2019 | Disasters

Recovery after the current drought, which has been declared a national disaster, is the biggest challenge the agriculture sector will face for the next three...

Engen fuels N$1m drought relief

1 month - 09 August 2019 | Disasters

Engen has handed over N$1 million to the Dare to Care Fund to support Namibia's farmers who have been ravaged by a seven-year drought. The...

Latest News

Oshakati hospital rundown, understaffed

14 hours ago | Health

The 750-bed Oshakati Intermediary Hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, is operating without a paediatrician, neonatologist, neurosurgeon, dietician, clinical psychologist and...

Roar young lions, roar!

14 hours ago | Columns

Youth without a consistent voice are inevitably excluded from the pockets of power that exist throughout societies.Youth who become praise-singers and imbongis, even when they...

Teko trio walk free

14 hours ago | Justice

Teckla Lameck, Jerobeam Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fang, known as the Teko trio, have been found not guilty of all charges relating to a...

'He decided to flee'

14 hours ago | Crime

Defence minister Penda Ya Ndakolo says Benisius Kalola (32), the second unarmed civilian killed during Operation Kalahari Desert this year, was shot when he fled...

280 cops deployed against poachers

14 hours ago | Crime

The Namibian police have deployed 280 members to assist in the fight against poaching.Inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga says these members, selected from across the country, are...

Uanivi gets Warriors chance

14 hours ago | Sports

African Stars veteran defender Pat-Navin Uanivi has finally been selected for the national team after years of being omitted. Uanivi forms part of Brave Warriors...

Horn suspended for alleged doping

14 hours ago | Sports

South African women's 100m record holder Carina Horn has been suspended from competition over doping allegations.The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Monday: “The AIU...

'Hitman' faces tough brawl

14 hours ago | Sports

Former two-time world champion Paulus 'Hitman' Moses is set for tough night, as he not only faces Russia's Adlan Aburashidov, but also the home-ground advantage...

Loubser ready to get his...

14 hours ago | Sports

Four years ago, Cliven Loubser was inspired after watching his native Namibia score a try against New Zealand and earn their first Rugby World Cup...

Load More