Namibia declares drought a national emergency

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WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA - MARCH 5, 2018: Namibia's President Hage Geingob during a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images)
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob during a past meeting. (Photo by Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images)

Namibian President Hage Geingob on Monday declared the current drought affecting the arid and semi-arid counties and pockets of other areas within the country a national disaster.

Geingob said all government agencies and stakeholders will be called upon to ensure that the necessary assistance is given to affected communities.

“The rain season is almost over and we did not receive good rainfall. This means that we are facing the natural disaster of drought and many will be affected by the situation,” Geingob said.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has been directed to advise farmers in areas with poor grazing to take precautionary measures such as destocking and culling of animals. Other measures include ensuring timely and sufficient allocation of production inputs and acceleration of the repair of government tractors.

Some farmers in certain regions, like Kunene and Omaheke, have already begun losing their livestock due to the effects of the drought.

In March, the Cabinet announced the approval of a comprehensive drought relief intervention worth $39.6 million (N$572.7 million) to assist drought-affected communities in communal areas.

Namibia has endured recurrent drought conditions since 2013, affecting most parts of the country.

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