300 tonnes of rice arrive for food relief to communities affected by drought and windstorms
A very substantial rice donation from the Government of Japan was received this week by the Prime Minister from the Japanese Ambassador. The rice is earmarked to bring food relief to communities in Kunene, Omusati, Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke.
The northwestern regions have been affected by drought conditions since 2019 while the eastern regions suffered wind and hail damage at the onset of the recent summer rains.
In Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, the rice will help those families who suffered damage to their homes in the windstorms. In some cases, houses have been destroyed completely.
Until it is dispatched, the rice is stored in Windhoek at the Disaster Risk Management warehouse of the Office of the Prime Minister, under the care of the unit’s Director, Ms Hellen Likando.
The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila expressed the Namibian Government’s appreciation to the Japanese Ambassador, HE Hideaki Harada. She said the 300 tonnes of rice will go a long way to complement the government’s food relief programme for people in the drought-affected areas. This support is expected to carry on until the end of June this year.
“Namibia has been experiencing periods of drought/floods in the couple of years, with 2019 having been very serious and devastating, leading to a declaration of a State of Emergency: National Disaster on account of Drought from May 2019 to March 2020 due to the negative impact it posed on human and animals livelihood,” stated the Prime Minister adding that despite improved rainfall last year, there are still large areas severely affected by drought in Kunene, Omusati and Erongo.
The support provided under the drought relief programme includes provision of food to the most needy, the provision of water to communities by water tanker, the rehabilitation, installation and drilling of boreholes and the extension or installation of water pipes, provision of free fodder to identified farmers and payment of different subsidies such as marketing incentives, subsidies for the purchase of animal feeds, transportation of animals to grazing areas, and for leasing of grazing.
“We are most grateful to the Japanese Government through its Food Assistance Programme for this timely donation which will be distributed to targeted food-insecure households affected by drought and other climate shocks,” she said.