Namibian farmers call for government drought assistance

African women farmers

On her farm, Hilma Kapena from Oshana Region in northern Namibia looks onto her field in despair. “I ploughed my field for cultivation in December 2014 but the rain was not adequate. The crops withered, now the field is bare and empty. We are in a dire situation as we have no food, no water and no pasture,” she said, as she looks onto her dry field. Farmers
“I will have no harvest this year. We will have to depend on government for aid otherwise we will starve,” said Kapena on Monday.
The 45 years old Kapena, a farmer from the Oshana region is one of the many farmers who suffered a major setback as all her crops never recovered the dry spell that hit the region early this year.
Information from the Office of the prime minister shows that close to 418,000 people in Namibia have been affected by drought.
She is not alone, many more farmers in Namibia suffers the same fate as Kapena. Eliaser Sheetheni is from the Oshikoto Region. “My cattle have perished due to drought.
“The pans are dry, there is no graze. Not only that, I have suffered a double fate as crops have not yielded positive results either,” he shared with Xinhua about his ordeal on Monday.
Government recently announced that close to 418,000 people affected by drought would receive assistance that includes maize meal.
Permanent Secretary in the Office of Prime Minister Nangula Mbako said that this comes after Cabinet had authorized the implementation of an interim drought relief program.
According to Mbako, priority would be given to the Omaheke, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and the northern region such as Oshana Region, from where Kapena hails.
Meanwhile, the state has put aside 300 million Namibian dollars (25 million U.S. dollars) for drought mitigation purposes, of which 90 million Namibian dollars (7.5 million U.S. dollars) would be allocated licks, health packages and animal fodder.
To this, the farmers in northern Namibia have hailed government’ s recent announcement to assist drought stricken communities. “This assistance will really make an impact for us. We will have no harvest. This means that we won’t have an income either as we were dependent on surplus for an income,” said Kapena. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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