Sunday, October 20, 2013

No record of drought related deaths in Namibia

Tonateni Shidhudhu in via New Era (Namibia): The Omusati Region is currently one of the hardest hit region in the country, with thousands of people suffering a lack of food and a number of livestock dying due to a lack of grazing and water, Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob informed parliament yesterday in his update on the devastating drought.

Geingob said he spoke to Omusati Governor Sophia Shaningwa who identified that the water flow from Angola has also drastically reduced. Shaningwa is expected to meet with Angolan authorities at the end of this month to discuss the provision of water from Angola to Namibia. The premier also quashed reports of deaths due to the drought saying no person has died as a result of drought and government's distribution of drought relief in the regions is progressing well.

Geingob said he is in touch with all the regional governors on the latest drought situation and its impact on people and was informed that since the declaration of the drought emergency no governor has reported any death in their regions due to a lack of food. "I therefore would like to state that we should make a distinction between malnourishment and hunger caused by poverty and malnourishment and hunger caused by a lack of rain due to drought," he said.

The problems with food distribution in Omusati have been resolved and the region now has 12 vehicles and two NDF trucks delivering food to people in the 12 constituencies. In Omaheke Region, Governor Festus Uitele had informed the prime minister that Aminuis has received water, except for the delay at Otjinene due to limited drilling equipment.

Geingob said Otjozondjupa and Kunene regions have also reported good progress. It was however reported that a certain community in Kunene Region had moved back into the mountains, making it difficult to reach them with food supplies. But Geingob said plans are underway to use a helicopter to deliver food to the community in the mountains....

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