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Prime Minister Commemorates Day for Disaster Risk Reduction as Another Drought Hits

Prime Minister Commemorates Day for Disaster Risk Reduction as Another Drought Hits

Staff Reporter

Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister, commemorated the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October at Uukwangula, Okatana Constituency, Oshana Region, as another drought has hit Namibia. The day, held under the theme “Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future,” saw the Prime Minister emphasizing that the Government completed a Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA) in July 2023. The assessment confirmed a country-wide drought, affecting an estimated 695,000 people in need of relief assistance.

Dr. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stressed that disasters often worsen inequalities within societies. “As we reflect on this theme, we must recognize the urgent need to address these disparities in order to build a more resilient Namibia. Namibia is highly vulnerable to disasters, as we are significantly impacted by climate change, exposing our country to various disasters such as droughts, floods, wildfires, pests outbreaks, and windstorms,” she stated.

She also highlighted that these hazards frequently occur in quick succession, leading to heightened vulnerabilities. “Just this year, parts of Ohangwena, Oshana, and Omusati Regions experienced flooding, which destroyed crops and diminished prospects for anticipated crop yield. Soon after, the rain ceased, resulting in a country-wide drought. Consequently, as we confront these complex and ever-evolving threats, building resilience at every level of our society has become an urgent priority,” the Prime Minister added.

Dr. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further emphasized that the government’s disaster risk legal framework allows for the establishment of disaster risk management committees at village, town, constituency, regional, and national levels. These committees, she explained, are crucial for assessing the extent of damage during disasters, mobilizing necessary relief, and providing a timely response.

“Even in pre-disaster periods, these structures are vital for monitoring the situation and issuing early warnings to communities, thereby mitigating the impact of disasters. I therefore urge all designated institutions to ensure that these institutional structures are fully established and operationalized,” she urged.

Additionally, she implored all stakeholders, town councils, and traditional authorities to ensure that communities settle away from flood-prone areas.

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