Crops wilt in drought-hit Ruacana

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Ongwediva

Constituency Councillor for Ruacana Constituency Andreas Shintama said communal farmers have given up hope of a good cropping season this current rainy season. The area has been throughout January, which is normally one of the wettest months of the rainy season.

He said in December the constituency received some relatively good rains, but the rains have since then petered out.
“Villagers started ploughing when we received rain, hoping that it will continue dropping like that, but now they are disappointed since their mahangu fields are getting dry and wilting,” stated Shintama.

Shintama said he undertook familiarisation visits in the constituency at the beginning of the year and many areas have been hard hit by the lingering drought.

He said most of the villagers he visited are appealing to government to continue providing them with drought relief food until such time they receive good rains and a better harvest.

He further explained that although the cattle were recovering from last year’s drought, they are likely to die if the area does not receive rain soon.

He noted that even though there has been a call from senior leaders urging residents to sell some of their cattle and small stock rather than lose them, there has been no a viable market since last year.

Shintama said the process of drought relief food distribution has been proceeding without hindrance to the extent that the warehouse is empty.

He said people received bags of meat, 12,5 kg of maize meal and canned fish.
“Each household received three bags of maize meal if there are five people in the household; six maize meal bags [were issued] if there are 10 people in the household. Every household received three cans of fish and a box of meat,” Shintama explained.

He strongly sympathised with the drought-striken people, saying the government needs to send more food aid, because signs of the drought are everywhere.

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