Venaani calls for drought state of emergency

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

Opposition leader McHenry Venaani has called on President Nangolo Mbumba to declare drought a state of emergency.

Venaani wrote to Mbumba on Thursday saying the adverse effects of climate change have brought the country to an alarming state where the imminent threat of meteorological calamity overshadows human daily existence.

“The relentless El Niño climatic phenomenon exacerbates this already precarious situation, causing severe rainfall shortages. This is indicative of not merely a seasonal irregularity but a dreadful spectre of our changing climate – a matter that deserves our undivided attention and swift action,” he said.

NamWater’s recent disclosure that the three key dams in Windhoek are only filled to 18.7 percent combined capacity serves as a dire warning, hinting at the perils that lie ahead.

Venaani indicated that local farmers, who are the backbone of the economy, could bear the brunt of the impending disaster without timely and requisite assistance.

“President Mbumba should remember that the nature of Namibian challenge is not merely environmental but human. Thus the livelihoods at stake are the ones of Namibian people, the very fabric of local society. Therefore, it is the leaders’ moral duty to ensure their welfare, in the face of adversity,” he said.

Venaani called on Mbumba to evoke Chapter 4, Article 26 of the Constitution and heed the call of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry to declare drought a national emergency.

This declaration, Venaani says, would help mobilise resources, accelerate assistance, and draw international attention.

“I call upon you, Mr. President, to devise a crop subsidy for farmers who have cultivated more than 1 hectare of land via insurance institutions such as NASRIA, as this particular category of farmers is usually left without any assistance,” urged Venaani.

Presidential press secretary Alfredo Hengari, said the call by Venaani, is nothing but political brinkmanship.

He said that the matter is already receiving attention from both the president and the Cabinet.

“President Mbumba presided over the Cabinet on Tuesday 23 April and the drought situation and Government response to the issue featured prominently. You will recall that the President has visited several regions of the country over the past two months and has first-hand knowledge and understanding of the drought situation on the ground. The President is taking the appropriate decisions that will be communicated accordingly,” said Hengari.

Related Posts