Namibia announces $40 million drought intervention package

Map of Namibia

Days after Namibian president Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency due to an on-going drought in the country, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila announced a drought intervention strategy.

Speaking on Tuesday in the National Assembly, Amadhila announced a package of about 573 million Namibian dollars (about 40 million U.S. dollars) that will render food assistance, livestock marketing incentives as well as water tanks for families and farmers affected by the drought.

She called on development partners and the business community to come together and help arrest a crisis that has recurred for the third time in six years.

“Given the extent of the drought, these interventions will require the support of all Namibians, especially the business community and the international community,” Amadhila said. “We, therefore, call on all Namibians and development partners to assist in any way possible, so that we provide for our people who are affected as well as the livestock.”

In February the Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa said drought relief interventions would be controlled by the National Emergency Disaster Fund, where the ministries of defence and health would have to avail facilities and support for the implementation thereof.

The lack of rain has left about 500,000 people – one in five Namibians – without access to enough food, the government says.

The sparsely-populated country has seen a succession of droughts since 2013.