Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Namibia: Floods raise food fears, via the Namibian (Windhoek): Namibia needs to brace for the possibility of "severe food shortages" in the wake of the floods in north-central Namibia, President Hifikepunye Pohamba warned in Windhoek on Friday. The President said not only had the floods disrupted economic activities and schooling, they had prevented subsistence farmers from planting crops for winter harvests on time.

Speaking at the annual New Year's reception at State House for the diplomatic corps, Cabinet ministers and international organisations, Pohamba said the flooded mahangu, maize and sorghum fields "are likely to lead to severe food shortages. It is our resolve as a Government that no human life is lost because of lack of food."

Preceding the January floods, large parts of Namibia were suffering from drought conditions, causing over 4 000 livestock to die. The President underlined that Namibia was highly vulnerable to climate change. "Namibia is a minor producer of greenhouse gases. Ironically, our country is classified as highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and it is predicted the country will become increasingly hotter and drier with shorter and unreliable rain seasons. Agriculture directly supports the livelihoods of the majority of our population and droughts will thus have a severe effect on Namibia's development as well as food security," he said.

Government recently made available over N$200 million in food relief to support flood and drought victims countrywide over the next six months. Likewise, Namibia's water sector was equally vulnerable to climate change, Pohamba added. "This situation demands appropriate action to mitigate the adverse affects," he said…

Namibia map from CIA World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

No comments: