Omusati still waiting for drought aid

Less than 9% of households which registered for the drought relief programme in the region were helped in June and July.

15 August 2019 | Economics

OUTAPI – The severity of the drought in the Omusati region requires an urgent consideration for comprehensive relief food distribution in order to mitigate its impact on the community’s livelihoods.

The call was made on Tuesday the governor of Omusati, Erginus Endjala, during president Hage Geingob’s Town Hall Meeting at Outapi.

The region registered 33 930 drought-affected households to benefit from the drought relief programme. Endjala said only 2 898 households benefited from the programme during June and July.

“This is a population of 16 339 beneficiaries and most of the affected groups are women, children, pensioners and child-headed households,” he said.

The Office of Prime Minister (OPM) has provided two trucks and a water tanker from the Namibian Defence Force to supply water to the needy communities, while the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry (MAWF) in June this year made available 1 450 bales of free feed to assist poor farmers.

A total of 133 farmers benefited from the initiative, Endjala said, adding that 120 subsidy claims, totalling N$55 480, were submitted for payment.

Water

The MAWF in collaboration with OPM granted N$1 million to the region for the installation of three boreholes and for cleaning and pumping seven test boreholes, rehabilitating eight hand pumps and purchasing materials for a 56km pipeline.

Endjala said NamWater pumped water from Calueque in southern Angola into the Etaka-Uuvudhiya canal to the relief of cattle owners in the Omusati and Oshana regions.

While acknowledging the increasing number of would-be drought relief programme beneficiaries countrywide, prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila at the same meeting called on employed Namibian individuals to come forth and contribute 2% from their income to the programme, as the government’s budget for the programme is faced with a deficit.

Some N$104 million has so far been contributed to the programme. - Nampa

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