People die, animals die and vegetation also!
Having worked 10 years in the non-profit sector, I have been able to address a range of youth issues and current affairs, but this new year, I have decided to deviate from my norm as I feel that some issues on climate change have not been addressed accordingly.
In 2004 I co-founded a non-profit organization to provide holistic support for learners who could not afford to go to tertiary education as well as provide continuous psychosocial support to orphans and vulnerable children.
Although I have focused on the social ills in and around the country, one thing in particular has often been overlooked. The issue and fact that Namibia is one of the most vulnerable countries being adversely affected by climate change.
The climate situation in the country has been addressed accordingly in my view and now Namibians still find it hard to adapt to droughts and floods.
In my observation I have noted that due to the scarcity of rain, droughts have worsened over the years and to top it off, when it does rain, the occurrence of flood often follow.
As a result of the ever changing climate, rain variability is negatively affected. With the constant change, farmers incur huge losses of crops which in turn affect their survival, as most people rely on farming as their livelihood.
To my knowledge almost one million people in the country face moderate to serious levels of food insecurity. In a report that I came across, according to Al Jazeera, “Sometimes children go to bed with empty stomachs. Sometimes they just drink some water and go to sleep”, which is often a result of lack of food.
Judging from that report it is lucid that climate change is upon us and it is constantly changing lives in the country.
Furthermore, the 2013/4 droughts according to report, will cost the Namibian Government N$555 million for emergency relief to feed 578,480 starving Namibians. This in turn will affect the attainment of Vision 2030 and SDGs.
In my view people should be at the centre of all the efforts to aid in which ever way possible.
We need to enable farmers to prepare adequately for droughts by providing information early for them to destock if necessary. Educating farmers how to diversity their income to minimize the immediate effect of drought. Cabinet approved the National Policy on Climate Change, in 2011. The head of government should ensure that all stakeholders are coordinating efforts to adapt to climate change.
The different government ministries and agencies need to have streamlined policies and strategies that prioritize climate change adaptation to ensure success and the best use of resources.
Currently the government’s main aim right now is poverty eradication, I feel that there should be an equal emphasis on climate change adaptation; for the economy and the lives of individuals.
In the end if focus on climate change is not addressed where will the people stay and what will they eat. This is just food for thought though because if the effects of climate change are not addressed, I think we will basically have signed our own death warrant.