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Most northerners will need drought relief

Most northerners will need drought relief

Placido Hilukilwa

THIS year’s harvest was satisfactory for some but not for other subsistence farmers which find themselves in the four northern regions of Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto.

Many will need drought assistance, says Adolf Uunona, the councilor for Oshana Region’s Ompundja Constituency.

He blamed climate change for this year’s insufficient rainfall.
“The rainy season started too late and ended too soon. That had a negative effect on the harvest. People will definitely need drought relief and government is already preparing for that eventuality,” he said.

He has a special message to those northerners who are employed in towns and other parts of the country: “Start putting some money aside to support your relatives back home. They will need it,” he said.

Angula Kanelombe, the spokesperson of the Ombalantu Traditional Authority in the Omusati Region, echoed Uunona’s view.
He said the recent mahangu harvest season was neither too good nor too poor.

“The rainy season started very late. There was a time when we had no hope for a harvest at all, but we did have a harvest that was not to everybody’s satisfaction,” he said, adding that the rainfalls were unpredictable and sporadic so much so that, sometimes, it rained in one mahangu field and not in the neighbouring one. “The result is that two neighbouring families had vastly unequal harvests,” he said.

The same situation was reported in the Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions.
However, grazing is said to be good in all four regions.
“Our livestock died en masse during the drought of 2019. Our herds are still recovering and available grazing is more than enough,” said Kanelombe.

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