Opuwo Rural councillor appeals for more drought relief
11 January 2021 | Disasters
Opuwo Rural constituency councillor Uaurikua Kakuva has urged the government to help farmers in his constituency, who he said have lost more than 80% of their livestock due to persistent drought.
Kakuva said the assistance provided by the government so far was insufficient.
He also urged the government to speed up the drilling of boreholes as people have to share unsafe water with their livestock for survival.
“We are faced with contractor challenges. The company that was supposed to drill boreholes at Omiotuherera and Omuravarava has kept us in the dark.
“We therefore plead with the government and other stakeholders to speed up some of these projects as my office alone cannot cover all areas,” said Kakuva.
No rain yet
He said most people in the constituency have been surviving on drought relief food, which has been depleted.
“Most of our people have little to eat. The drought-relief programme did not cover even 50% of the region. The councillor's office tried to provide food to the most affected but the number keeps increasing and our hands are tied,” he further said.
Kakuva, who was elected last year on the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) ticket, also noted that the persistent drought has forced many farmers who have livestock left to become nomadic in search of grazing.
He said while other regions have reported good rains recently, Kunene is yet to receive rain. The western parts of the region have been particularly dry, he stated.
The councillor urged the community to not rely solely on the government's drought-relief programme but to use any resources at their disposal to remain productive.
Kunene's acting chief regional officer, Joseph Jantze, said the regional council was aware of the effects of the drought, not only in Opuwo Rural but the whole region.
He said the new council was engaging the central government to review and strengthen the drought-relief programme in the region.
He added that although government was doing its best to support drought-stricken farmers, they were experiencing budgetary constraints.