Namibia’s President declares drought a national disaster

00311578 90b63cb0b96a73d54f3caa064526861e arc614x376 w614 us1Namibia’s President Hage Geingob officially declared a state of emergency as of yesterday following the drought that has been raving the country.

“I declare that a serious crisis exists in Namibia on the account of the drought in all regions of the Republic of Namibia,” the local media quoted the president as saying.

The declaration came at a time when the government had set aside $6m (N$90 m) to assist the people affected by the adverse climate between April and July.

According to the media, it was the second time in three years the government had declared a state of emergency due to drought.

The declaration, dated 24 June 2016, was forwarded to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s office, who notified the Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi, on Tuesday this week.

Namibia has been experiencing a persisent drought for the past three years, which has caused farmers to destock and has affected over a quarter of the population, who have no food security. In order to feed people, government has been running a drought relief programme, which saw N$916 million spent towards drought relief from April 2015 to March 2016.

Namibia, like other southern Africa countries, was bearing the brunt of the El-Niño phenomenon.

Majority of Namibia’s 2.2 million people were poor and hence vulnerable to adverse weather conditions.

Water remains a scarce commodity in the country that is generally hot and dry with erratic rainfall.

In 2013, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared a state of emergency, saying more than 4,000 animals had died and about 300,000 people were affected by the drought.