Namibia: Government Calls for International Aid On Drought

Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala has appealed to the international community to join the government's efforts in minimising the negative impacts of climate change in Namibia.

The minister, speaking during the 40th session of the Human Rights Council's high-level segment in Switzerland last week, said individual efforts to fight the effects of drought should be incorporated into a much larger cooperative plan.

He said this will make it more efficient and effective to reduce the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable members of society, and that such concerted efforts targeted towards a specific outcome will make realistic changes.

Shanghala said Namibia is facing another drought this year, which will have a devastating impact on all forms of life, with inevitable consequences of draining the country's scarce economic resources.

"Unless we recognise the impact of global warming on the enjoyment of human rights, we will not act responsibly," the minister added.

The agricultural inputs and household food security situation report for December 2018 revealed that a lack of rain had resulted in deteriorated grazing conditions in various parts of the country.

It added that the issue of poor rainfall had not only had a negative impact on grazing, but also on crop production and water resources.

Due to the drought, farmers were being advised to take precautionary measures such as de-stocking and culling livestock.

The report also urged the government to ensure the timely provision of basic inputs and services, as well as advising farmers to grow drought-resistant crop varieties.

Shanghala said the Human Rights Council was formed to continue programmes of its predecessor the Human Rights Commission.

"Namibia commends the Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, member states and other stakeholders for the remarkable efforts undertaken to address issues of concern," he noted.

The minister added that the international community recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which forms the basis of the bill of rights in the Namibian Constitution.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the cornerstone of all multilateral human rights instruments.

"We should all pledge to sacredly uphold the rights set out therein in our quest to finding solutions to the challenges facing us," the minister said.

He added that the concerns of the international community should be shared, as well as the internal conflicts in many countries in which thousands of innocent people lose their lives.

"This is not what the world should look like today, as we are supposed to have evolved much further than resorting to violence," he stated.

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