The Green Climate Fund has approved a grant of US$9,3 million (N$109 million) for Namibia's climate adaptation project.
The project, which is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of smallholder farmers in the Kunene region that was hard-hit by drought, is envisaged to start in June this year.
Speaking at a media conference in the capital last week, environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said the project will safeguard natural capital that generates ecosystem services to sustain agricultural production systems, and will benefit a total of 44 400 smallholder farmers and their families.
The project titled 'Improving rangeland and ecosystem management practices of smallholder farmers under conditions of climate change in Sesfontein, Fransfontein and Warmquelle areas of Namibia' will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
Shifeta emphasised that the project will support the rehabilitation of two green scheme facilities at Sesfontein and Warmquelle of seven and 11 hectares, respectively.
The two facilities will also be used as learning centres for climate resilient agricultural production to local smallholder farmers.
Another community-based green scheme at Fransfontein of 40 hectares will be established to transfer lessons learned from the other two facilities, he added.
"Kunene is the most hard-hit region by drought for the past three consecutive years and people from this region depend more on livestock, so if government does not assist in that regard this means serious poverty," said Shifeta.
He added that community members with already existing backyard gardens will be given grants to expand them.
Speaking at the same event, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the agricultural sector is one of the most vulnerable to extreme weather conditions caused by climate change, with losses in crop productivity for livestock farmers and the lack of preparedness in that respect well documented.