Namibia: Devastating Drought Persists in Kunene

Devastating drought continues to plague communities and livestock in the Kunene region, governor Marius Sheya said.

He said the situation remains dire.

Sheya says the little rainfall received came towards the end of the rainy season; hence grazing pasture remains a challenge.

"We have experienced drought for at least seven years, so the rain that we received was not sufficient to make a difference in the vegetation."

The governor said the support from both government and the private sector has been immense in keeping Kunene afloat.

Since the drought worsened in Kunene, the affected communities have been provided with food and animal feed.

Sheya said only five constituencies have been hard hit, except for Kamanjab and Outjo.

The governor said the situation has forced farmers to migrate from their areas to areas with better grazing for their livestock.

He said while some are moving to better areas in the region, others have been moving their livestock outside the region to parts of Omusati and Oshana.

At the initial stages of the drought, affected communities were migrating to the outskirts of Opuwo where the grazing was much better compared to where they originate.

Following a large number of people migrating to the outskirts of Opuwo, the grazing there also depleted fast, forcing some farmers to migrate their livestock to other areas, already in March.

When New Era visited the region in March, farmers had lost a significant number of small livestock, particularly goats.

There were no cattle in sight as many of the cattle already succumbed to the severe drought in 2019.

Some of the farmers interviewed indicated that they have lost over 100 goats each to the drought.

Moving forward, the governor said the region has come up with an action plan, which will assist the region to mitigate drought in the future.

The plan will guide the region to align the communities' needs to the available resources.

"With this plan, we will be able to see where to put up boreholes or agriculture projects depending on the region's needs," said Sheya.

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