Worst drought since 1930

The Khomas Region is experiencing its second driest year of the last century.

23 May 2019 | Disasters

Low rainfall in the Khomas Region has plunged the area around Windhoek into the second worst drought in a century.

Several other regions are also in the grips of a severe drought.

A report issued by the Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) states that the rainfall received in the Khomas Region this year was less than a third of the average seasonal rainfall.

As a result, this is the “worst drought for the Windhoek area on record over the past century, only surpassed by the 1929/30 rainfall season,” Simon Dirkse of NMS sums up.

Last week, the City of Windhoek scaled up its water savings target to a mandatory 15% and introduced new water restrictions.

The NMS report underlines that low rainfall patterns were observed in most regions of the country in the past rainy season.

Record-breaking low rainfall was received in the western parts of Zambezi, several parts of the two Kavango regions and the southern regions of Namibia.

The bulk of the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions received less than 40% of their average seasonal rainfall, Dirkse says.

Only small pockets and individual farms in eastern Erongo, western Omaheke and the Otjiwarongo district received 70% of the expected seasonal rainfall.

Data for the western parts of the Zambezi Region show the area is experiencing one of its worst droughts in 59 years, comparable only to the 1964/5 and 2002/03 seasons.

The eastern parts of the Zambezi Region received between 60% and 80% of its average rainfall between October and April.

And, while rainfall performance in the Kavango regions initially looked promising with above-normal rainfall recorded by the end of December, the deterioration since then was marked, with “most rainfall reporting stations receiving below-normal rainfall” between January and the end of April.

Some areas in the Kavango regions did experience overall good rainfall, including Mashare which received 513 mm (91% of its seasonal average), followed by Ruuga with 351.2 mm (65% of its seasonal average). Rundu and Ndonga-Linena received 59% and 47% respectively of their annual average rainfall.

“The rest of the places received less than 45% of their seasonal rainfall,” the report states.

Dirkse concludes that for the two Kavango regions it is the seventh worst rainy season since 1960/61. The 1964/65 season was the driest ever measured in the region.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the north-central regions - Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Oshikoto - received only one-third of their average seasonal rainfall from October last year to April this year.

The eastern part of the Ohangwena Region is the best off, having received around 80% of its seasonal rainfall.

“The dry conditions started biting these regions from the onset of rains,” Dirkse notes, adding that the situation continued throughout the season, with below normal rainfall reported every month until the end of April.

Most parts of the Kunene Region received less than one-third of their average seasonal rainfall.

The southern parts of the Kunene Region received close to 50% of their seasonal rainfall but more than half of that, 55%, was recorded over a few days in October.

The latest dam bulletin issued on Monday indicates that the total level of the three central dams supplying the capital city is currently at 18.8%, compared to 35.1% last year.

Earlier this month, President Hage Geingob declared the drought a national emergency.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Thousands go hungry

2 days ago - 12 November 2019 | Disasters

ILENI NANDJATO Following the deaths of three children from malnutrition at Amarika in the Omusati Region during the past three months, an investigation by Namibian...

Food insecurity a 'pressing problem'

1 week ago - 04 November 2019 | Disasters

Agriculture and food security are the most vulnerable and climate-sensitive sectors in Namibia, with food insecurity also remaining one of the most pressing problems facing...

Nam dagga trafficking smoked in SA

3 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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

4 weeks 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

1 month - 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

1 month - 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

1 month - 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

1 month - 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...

Latest News

Namcor ready to run fuel...

3 hours ago | Business

The Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) expects to take delivery of the strategic fuel storage facility next month, a company official has told Namibian Sun....

How the 'sharks' were netted

3 hours ago | Fishing

An international scandal has erupted with an exposé of more than 30 000 documents released by WikiLeaks which show that an Icelandic fishing company, SAMHERJI,...

NSFAF explains payment woes

3 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has blamed the delayed payment of non-tuition fees to students on the unavailability of funds and its internal...

Hospital ­denies Itula ­allegation

3 hours ago | Health

The regional directorate of health for Ohangwena has denied an allegation by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula that a patient at Eenhana district hospital had...

Devil's claw under threat

3 hours ago | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

More dark days ahead

3 hours ago | Sports

The Fifa normalisation committee says it still has to consult its lawyers before making a decision on the way forward for the Namibia Premier League...

Mining tourney hailed as a...

3 hours ago | Sports

A three-day tournament that featured different mining employees from across the country, which took place at Otjiwarongo from Friday to Sunday, has been described as...

They have to go, says...

16 hours ago | Crime

Staff ReporterHighly placed sources indicated this morning that President Hage Geingob is planning to jettison justice minister Sacky Shanghala and fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau from...

Namibian arrested in Malaysia for...

1 day - 13 November 2019 | Crime

A 26-year-old Namibian man has been arrested in Malaysia on suspicion of strangling and dismembering his Nigerian girlfriend. The man was arrested on Saturday in...

Load More