60,000+ #cattle dead due to #drought in #Namibia

Livestock Alert

According to a latest announcement by the minister of agriculture, water and forestry, Alpheus Naruseb, a total of 60 000+ cattle have died right across Namibia as the drought continues to ravage the regions.

The figure has been sourced from the ministry’s veterinary service functionaries
Government has been forced to increase its drought relief aid budget, overstretching the contingency fund but having to cover the gap with donations from private, public sector and the international community.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila met with ministers and regional governors yesterday at her offices where she told the media that the budget allocation for drought has now increased to N$595.2 million.

Government had initially budgeted N$300 million.

But thatis now more than N$572.5 million of the initially approved budget while the actual funding of the budget has now overshot the initially agreed budget that was not fully funded.

So dire has the drought situation becomes that this week, the Namibia Agricultural Union announced that the Hardap Dam had been severely impacted with water levels at a critical 14.7%.

If the rains do not come, farmers in the vicinity of the dam could cease to have access to purified water by 2021.

Government has thus gone on the over-drive and is considering investing in desalination plants to syphon water from the sea.

The Patriot wanted to understand whether the OPM had received news of any deaths in the regions yet as well as how many households were in need of drought relief aid.

“When the programme started the estimated number of household beneficiaries was 42 000 according to the vulnerability assessment.

This process was later followed by the identification and the registration of beneficiaries based on the criteria as established and approved by cabinet.

But this verification produced higher number of qualifying households which is now 172 938 households,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

One of the big questions is how is government best transporting the food aid across the regions and how secure are the storage spaces so that they ultimately reach the affected.

“We are being assisted by the Namibian Defence Force who have availed transportation in the form of truck and human resources to distribute food,” said the PM.

Courtesy of thepatriot.com.na

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