NAMIBIA: President declares national state of emergency over drought

The Namibian government has declared a national state of emergency with respect to a drought that has hit several areas in the southern African nation.

A statement from the presidency attributed to the president Hage Geingob said: “the State of Emergency exists on account of the natural disaster of drought in all regions of the Republic of Namibia.”

“Offices, Ministries and Agencies and all other stakeholders will be mobilized to ensure that the necessary assistance is rolled out to affected communities,” the statement added.

The government has this month confirmed that it will subsidise farmers who reduce their herds as part of its drought intervention.

The top official of the department of agricultural development, Sophia Kasheeta, is quoted by the Namibian news portal as saying the ministry will give marketing incentives to farmers who want to sell their livestock to encourage them to reduce the numbers.

Kasheeta added that they would pay N$80 per head of small stock, and N$400 per head of large stock sold. However, the ministry said the government will only pay the subsidy for up to 100 livestock units per farmer, the report added.

Other initiatives the ministry was implementing in the face of drought relief interventions was the provision of water tankers for communities with no alternative sources of water in all regions, except Khomas.

The water tankers will benefit 10 000 households. Except Khomas, the ministry will also rehabilitate and restore boreholes in all regions. Farmers adversely affected will also benefit from lick supplements.

Information minister Stanley Simataa is on record to have admitted that this is the worst drought the country has experienced. “It will be coming. It is in the process. You will be alerted when the time comes for the authorities to make such a declaration (i.e. state of emergency),” he said days ago.

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