8 March 2018

Namibia: Drought Persists, Despite Good Rains

Outapi — With the consistent decrease in annual rainfall as a result of far-reaching climate change, it is being projected Namibia will continue experiencing severe drought in the coming years.

Hence, Namibia is called to brace itself for the hard times ahead by finding sustainable mitigating, adaptation factors against climate change as there is a projected increase in temperatures and subsequently low rainfall in coming years.

These revelations were made at the two-day conference on water, food security and adaptation to climate change in Omusati Region currently underway at Outapi.

The conference ends today.

The conference seeks to find long-term solutions to climate change and thereby map out sustainable measures.

The conference is being organised by the Omusati Regional Council in collaboration with Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR).

ASSAR is a five-year research project being implemented in Eastern, Southern and West Africa as well as South Asia.

The project is funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Omusati Governor, Erginus Endjala said the region is likely to face a disaster this year that is already being felt by livestock farmers as the region has recorded minimal rainfall since the start of the rainfall season.

"If you travel around the region, livestock owners are worried about their livestock survival because there is no sufficient feed," said Endjala.

Endjala said the region and the Northern Communal Areas are faced with a multitude of challenges such as recurrent droughts, frequent floods and limited grazing exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

Other imminent challenges facing the region include limited access to fresh produce markets and agro processing as well as high unemployment and poverty incidences.

As a result, most households are food insecure and suffer huge losses of livestock.

The conference therefore, according to Endjala has been necessitated to ensure there are mitigating factors to ensure water is secured for agricultural purposes.

It also further seeks to improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security and equally ensure that the livestock have enough feed throughout the year.

"And above all we need to make sure that we have the adaptive measures in place that will ensure the effects of climate change are minimal, as we cannot stop climate change from happening, we have to adapt," said Endjala.

"If we share our ideas and seek to move towards a common goal of water security, food security and adaptation, together we can achieve this goal in our region, in northern Namibia and indeed in the Namibian nation," said Endjala further stated.

Endjala appealed to the delegates to deliberate on the challenges and find amicable solutions that will set the agenda for informed decision-making process towards addressing water insecurity in the region.


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