Tebele slams government on drought relief

Gobabis Constituency Councillor, Augustinus Tebele, has criticised the government for how it handles the national drought relief initiative.

In an interview with Nampa recently, Tebele said the government did not consult before they came up with ways to help farmers in times of natural disasters like drought.

“Whenever we get a disaster of this calibre, it requires people not to stand up from Windhoek, run into the region and do what they call assessment or sampling a certain area which does not talk to the real conditions on the ground,” he said.

“They decide on the criteria without consultation with relevant affected communities, for me such things do not bring solutions, that is oppression because our people do not have a choice but to accept whatever they are given,” he slammed.

Furthermore, Tebele indicated that most of the farmers in his constituency do not benefit from most of the subsidies given by Government, because they are categorised as semi-commercial farmers and not communal farmers as many of them are from the resettlement farms in the region.

According to Tebele, resettlement farmers are left out of this project because they are believed to be financially able, which he said is not the case.

“The government only looks at transporting the livestock when farmers want to lease or take their livestock and the livestock marketing incentives where the price of this livestock is even very low, and apparently this will be between N.dollars 300 and 500 as a marketing incentive given to farmers,” he said.

“How can you sell a lot of livestock in this regard if the prices are very low, it is like really you are throwing your economy in the dustbin,” he continued.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Jona Musheko responding to Tebele’s comments, said that the ministry understand the claims by the councillor, but they are working with the budget allocated to them from the Office of the Prime Minister.

Musheko said the ministry is aware of what the farmers are going through and that what is given is not sufficient, but they are trying their best at least to assist farmers where they can, with the little budget allocated.

Source: NAMPA