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Drought is becoming a national catastrophe

Drought is becoming a national catastrophe

Placido Hilukilwa

TRADITIONAL authorities and constituency councillors in the four northern regions of Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana and Omusati are unanimous in declaring the drought situation a humanitarian catastrophe.
All Regional Governors are on their way to Windhoek where they will meet with the officials of the Office of the Prime Minister tomorrow.
The devastating drought situation will be the main item on the agenda.
There are reports that the lack of food has already forced a number of families to abandon their homesteads in the rural areas to seek food assistance from relatives or friends in the towns.
A number of traditional leaders in the Oshikoto region said that their people face sure starvation if the government delays the delivery of drought relief beyond this coming weekend.
“Many households in the rural areas have been without food for months now. Many people have been begging food from their neighbours and receiving assistance from relatives, but those who were helping others are themselves without food now,” said a junior headman in the Onalusheshete district of Ondonga.
“People are close to starvation, but all we get from government are promises of drought relief that never arrives,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by a number of inhabitants of the Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati regions who spoke to Informanté this week.
“At first we were trying to save our livestock, but now that nothing is left of the livestock, we are now desperately trying to save our children who, in the meantime, have learned to go to bed on empty stomachs,” said Evaristus Ndakolo of Ongha village in the Ohangwena Region.

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