Namibia: Dâures Reels From Severe Drought

Uis — A worsening drought is continuing to ravage many parts of the Dâures constituency in the Erongo region. Due to a lack of rainfall in the affected areas, crops have dried up while serious losses of livestock have been experienced by distressed farmers.

New Era this week visited the Arixams communal area, which has been parched by a severe dry spell. Residents described the situation as harsh. Local headman Nickey Gaseb said the village of about 50 inhabitants has suffered severe cattle losses.

"Drought and a lack of water in our area caused my sheep to decrease to about 100 from 400 that I had. The livelihood of our people here is not easy at all, but we thank the government that they at least rehabilitated our waterpoint," said Gaseb. He added that the community could not own gardens as food security because of the lack of water. The Arixams communal area is situated about 15km from Uis. Gaseb said they likewise have a challenge of elephants, exposing them to potential incidents of human-wildlife conflict. "The theft of solar panels at waterpoints is another challenge, and we are busy as a community sourcing funds to see how we will protect the facility," he observed.

Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein, who is on a familiarisation visit to the region, visited various water projects under construction. The minister briefly engaged some residents who are to benefit from the water infrastructure projects following his visit to the Arixams rehabilitated waterpoint.

Schlettwein then urged the community to take care of the facility. The total cost for the rehabilitation of the waterpoint was about N$150 000, and formed part of the drought relief programme initiated by the Office of the Prime Minister three months ago.

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