Windhoek — An assessment undertaken in Windhoek Rural has revealed the constituency faces a water shortage for humans and livestock while boreholes are dry or have low water yield capacity.
Other revelations include severe food insecurity and that most affected households are surviving on normal drought relief food.
Khomas regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said this during President Hage Geingob's town hall meeting at Ramatex complex on Thursday.
She highlighted that the drought and the current mitigating interventions of the government are among the priority points of departure of Geingob's overall engagement with the Namibian nation.
She said Khomas Region is not immune to the prevailing drought conditions in the country, and the situation demanded the immediate intervention of the government in terms of household food assistance, fodder and lick assistance for livestock and provision of water.
After Geingob declared the national drought emergency, Khomas undertook a rapid assessment to determine the impact of the drought.
This assessment was carried out in Windhoek Rural to determine the cumulative impact of the drought as experienced for five consecutive years of below-normal rainfall of 115.8mm as reported.
The assessment was further aimed to establish water conditions and shortages and to ascertain household vulnerability to food insecurity in general.
McLeod-Katjirua noted that livestock pasture in the constituency is affected and the mortality rate is high; livestock conditions are influenced by availability of grazing and supplementation of feed.
She said the livestock condition is poor to fair rated at body condition.
She could however not give figures on the number of livestock mortalities. She said the region is predominately livestock farming.
"In resettlement farms there are small plots where they grow vegetables plus cereal crops under irrigation and some rain-fed. Grazing conditions in Khomas range between severely poor to poor. This pressing drought situation compelled us as a region to immediately commence with the registration of beneficiaries and as a result 2,874 households for drought food were registered and submitted to the Prime Minister's Office," she said.
However, after their re-verification on the ground, they re-submitted the names of 1,832 beneficiaries but since the commencement of the distribution on June 12 this year only 1,229 beneficiaries are receiving drought relief which again gives them a shortfall of 603. She added that they were promised the shortfall by September 1.
She revealed they received the directive from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to identify drought-stricken farmers that are in dire need to receive 10 bags of licks of 50kg and nine bales of fodder to sustain a core breeding herd of 26 (consisting of 25 cows and one bull).
Other benefits include large stock units or 130 small stock units per month until December 2019.
As a result, a total number of 271 individual farmers; 2,171 cattle; 6,396 goats; 2,527 sheep which is equal to 11,094 small and large stock units for fodder and lick distribution, were registered and submitted.
She said the region was earmarked to receive 2,500 bales of fodder but they received 1,200 bales of fodder and the remainder 1,300 bales of fodder will be delivered in due course.
Equally, she explained the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry will continue to provide 2,500 bales of fodder only on a monthly basis till December 2019 but the lick has been cancelled and the fodder will be distributed proportionally.
In terms of water provision, she said they received N$1.5 million from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry for the installation and rehabilitation of boreholes in the region to address the challenge of water sources.
The officially conducted field assessment in the drought-stricken areas concluded that the amount in question must be earmarked for the drilling and rehabilitation of various boreholes at farms Nauaspoort, Satansluaght Post 2, 3, 4 and 5.
It will also include the installation of 10 solar systems for replacement of faulty engines at 3 Farm Areb, 2 Farm Nauapoort, 1 Farm Versailles, 4 Satanslaught Post 2, 3, 4, 5; as well as the construction of 4km water pipelines at Satanslaught.
As for the marketing incentives to farmers, to date only 18 claims have been submitted and processed to the tune of N$172 560, while fodder subsidy claims stand at 14 claims processed to the tune of N$16 233.00 with no transport and grazing claims submitted so far.