700 000 people impacted by drought in Namibia

Martin Endjala

Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) Chief Executive Officer Benedict Libanda, has made a shocking revelation that on an annual basis, an average of 700 000 people in Namibia are impacted by climate change and drought.

He shared this information during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between EIF and the Namibia Special Risks Insurance Association Limited (NASRIA) in Windhoek last week. The agreement aims to mitigate climate change challenges and promote sustainable development.

“With pressing times of climate change challenges, requiring funding and innovations such as this MoU, it becomes paramount to mitigating climate challenges,” he said.

Libanda stated that according to the 2022 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Namibia is said to be amongst the ten top vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.

The report further states that evaporation rates are projected to rise to 90 percent, even though it’s currently at 80 percent. It argues that these concerning statistics, are putting Namibia in a very tight spot given the country’s vulnerability.

He indicated that on average, an estimated N$700 million is spent on drought mitigation annually. However, he is concerned about the sustainability of such drought measures, emphasising that more needs to be done and all stakeholders must come together and hold hands to mitigate these challenges.

He said cereal crops are further projected to drop by 10 percent due to low rainfall, stressing that this will have a huge negative impact on food production in the country.

The CEO said the partnership will play a crucial role in advancing their respective mandates and addressing the challenges posed by climate change because by sharing expertise and resources, they can strengthen the resilience of the nation and promote sustainable development.

Meanwhile, NASRIA’s Acting Managing Director John Uusiku, said that as an entity that strives for the betterment of Namibians, it continues to evolve and find new ways to help people and in this case rural farmers, who often can’t afford insurance for their livestock.

He said the initiative is to protect farmers and provide resilience against drought and food events. This involves insurance schemes such as the Weather Index Based Livestock insurance better known as Wibil, the government covers 80 percent of the premium and the farmer only covers 20 percent, thus making it affordable to all farmers.

Uusiku highlighted the need for more funding to subsidise farmers both communal and commercial, for solutions to help in risk mitigation.

As a result, the primary objective of the MoU is to formalise a comprehensive framework for cooperative engagement.

By doing so, NASRIA aims to secure vital funding for its climate change-related insurance products, underscoring an unyielding dedication to climate resilience.

The MoU further strives to nurture a culture of cooperation. It seeks to create a vibrant exchange platform where EIF and NASRIA share not just information, but also skills, knowledge, expertise, and innovative systems.

“This collaborative spirit establishes a dynamic environment, fostering mutual growth and development for both entities, and it will enable us to expand our coverage of international-standard short-term insurance and support the development of the short-term insurance industry in Namibia,” said Uusiku.

As part of their commitments, the parties will collaborate on initiatives to secure funding for NASRIA’s climate change-related insurance products.

They will also share information, expertise, and policies related to regulatory compliance and governance for public enterprises.

For seamless implementation of agreed cooperation activities, each party will appoint dedicated focal point persons responsible for coordination and facilitation. This strategic approach enhances the effectiveness of collaborative endeavours.

Moreover, NASRIA’s Executive Marketing and Sales Ndapona Schleberger said the MoU is born of the COP28 held last year in Dubai, where the two parties met, and agreed to partner up, she also indicated that going forward, they are setting up a task force for mapping the way forward.

Related Posts