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Prime minister breaks down drought measures

Prime minister breaks down drought measures

Marthina Mutanga

THE assessment done by the Office of the Prime Minister shows that the whole country is expecting a harvest reduction of at least 53% compared to last season’s harvest, and over 42% compared to the 20 year average production.

This was revealed by prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila today during a briefing meeting in the Capital with regional governors after President Hage Geingob on Monday declared a state of emergency in all regions of Namibia as a result of the drought that the country is currency facing.

DIRE SITUATION: Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila addressing regional governors about the measures that government has takin in light of the drought. Photo: Marthina Mutanga

Further to that, Kuugongelwa- Amadhila revealed that the recently concluded Food and Nutrition Security Monitoring Assessment conducted biannually since 2016 has consistently indicated that Namibia produces less than 40% of the cereal they consume.

“All crop- producing regions are expecting massive reduction in the expected harvest, with cereal production to reduce by 70 to 80% in the communal areas and by 15% in the commercial areas, below last season’s harvest”, said Kuugongelwa- Amadhila.

Given the situation, she added, cabinet endorsed drought relief interventions valued at N$572,700,000 to assist affected food insecure households and drought affected farmers in all fourteen regions.

“These interventions are aimed to ensure that no human lives are lost due to lack of food because of drought, and also to preserve core herds for the drought affected farmers,” she explained.

The approved interventions include food assistance for needy and drought affected; water tankers; livestock marketing incentives in the drought affected areas; transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, and transport for fodder to the drought affected farmers especially in communal areas; as well as support for lease of grazing for the drought affected.

Interventions also include subsidy for crop framers, fodder and lick supplement for a core herd of 25 cattle and one bull per farmer, fodder and lick subsidy for a core 139 small stock plus a breeding, amongst others.

Chief Regional Officers have been instructed to start the identification and registering of food insecure households.

Governors were also urged to spearhead these processes of identification, registration and distribution of support benefits.

“This means that OMAs such as Ministry of Defence will contribute trucks to be used in the distribution. Also in line with the decentralisation policy, we shall explore modalities whereby some activities will be executed from the regional councils,” she concluded.

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