Namibia needs more funding to mitigate drought

Namibia needs more funding to mitigate drought

President Hage Geingob and Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila have appealed to the diplomatic community for help to mitigate the effects of the ravaging drought, due to which a state of emergency was declared two weeks ago.

According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, additional funds are needed, as the N$90 million government set aside is not enough to find the much-needed long-term solutions.

It is estimated that about 600 000 people are food insecure and government needs N$600 million to provide support to communities in the form of food and water supplies, as well as livestock support activities.

She said government has strengthened the Disaster Risk Management Unit’s policies. “Cabinet has availed N$90 million for immediate relief, which we are currently spending,” she said, adding that the existing funds would be sufficient to provide assistance until the end of July.

“From the beginning of August we will start with an additional programme until the end of March 2017, for which we will need N$600 million,” she said.

As a country prone to drought emergencies the Prime Minister said government made provision for about N$200 million in the current budget and the shortfall means government needs to raise the difference from somewhere else.

Namibia is one of five SADC countries that declared drought emergencies after Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi and Zimbabwe, who need a combined U$ 2.7 billion to steer clear of disaster.

The heads of foreign missions were thus urged to assist, with President Geingob also informing the diplomats about the water crisis the country. “We must hold hands. Whatever you can do to help us will be appreciated,” he said.

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