Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila yesterday said the government will spend over N$910 million on the multi-pronged drought relief distribution programme to assist close to 600 000 drought-affected Namibians.
The recurent drought is El Nino-induced and has left close to 600 000 people exposed to its ravaging effects that have left granaries empty and livestock decimated.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila revealed this during the handing over of a N$1.5 million donation by Frans Indongo Group to the Namibia Emergency Disaster Fund in the Office of the Prime Minister, to help curb the effects of drought.
She said that N$360 million was spent on the first phase of drought relief assistance, which ran from April to July 2015, while more than N$550 million is expected to be spent during the second phase covering August 2015 to March 2016.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila called upon the private sector to provide support to initiatives of government aimed at fighting hunger in the country and to meet government halfway in such noble efforts.
“We are all aware that the country has been affected by a devastating drought over the past three years and there is genuine fear that this drought will continue considering the poor rainfall up to now during this season,” she said.
She said the continued low rainfall resulted in the dry conditions in the northern and country regions.
“The Namibia Meteorological Service has indicated there is a high likelihood of below-normal rainfall throughout the country for the rainy season,” she said.
She added that she was looking forward to seeing more companies join these efforts and contribute to the noble objective of ensuring that no Namibian be allowed to die because of food shortage.
“We are in dire need of a stronger commitment between industry and government to work aggressively together in ensuring better and impactful relief and recovery from the drought.”
She said government will continue to engage all its stakeholders regarding the drought to try and find solutions to the problems stemming from the drought.
“Public-private partnerships are vital for our country to overcome these challenges,” she said, adding that government will continuously monitor the current drought conditions, spend the allocated and donated funds on their intended purposes and provide the necessary advisories to farmers.
Speaking at the same event Dr Solly Amadhila of the Frans Indongo Trust, who spoke on behalf of businessman Frans Indongo, said the country is experiencing one of the worst droughts ever.
“Drought affects everybody, but those with limited means, and especially those depending on agriculture, are most vulnerable and are the worst hit,” he said.
“We at Frans Indongo Group appreciate what government is doing to relieve some of the effects of the drought,” he said.
The Frans Indongo Group donation will be utilised to buy products at discounted prices from the Frans Indongo Group’s associated companies such as Bokomo Namibia, Tongaat Hulett Namibia and Ongwediva Spar.