Venaani advocate for drought to be declared state of emergency

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani, has requested that President Nangolo Mbumba declare a State of Emergency on account of drought.

In an open letter to Mbumba seen by Nampa on Wednesday, Venaani said the declaration would help mobilise resources, accelerate assistance and draw international attention, all of which the country direly needs to tackle this looming disaster.

‘I impress upon you to heed the call of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry to declare drought a national emergency, as empowered by Chapter 4, Article 26 of the Constitution. Mr. president, the importance of this matter cannot be stated enough. The government ought to learn from historical disasters and devise strategies to better deal with calamities of this nature,’ read the letter.

He said the recent announcement by NamWater indicating that the three key dams in Windhoek are only filled to 18.7 per cent combined capacity serves as a dire warning, hinting at the perils that lie ahead, adding that the
relentless El Niño climatic phenomenon exacerbates this already precarious situation, causing severe rainfall shortages.

Venaani said the adverse effects of climate change have brought the nation to an alarming state, where the imminent threat of meteorological calamity overshadows daily existence, citing that the severe rainfall shortages indicate not merely a seasonal irregularity, but a dreadful specter of climate changes, a matter that deserves undivided attention and swift action.

‘Our farmers, the backbone of our economy, could bear the brunt of this impending disaster without timely and requisite assistance. We must remember, Mr. president, that the nature of our challenge is not merely environmental, it is human. The livelihoods at stake are the ones of our brothers and sisters, the very fabric of our society. Therefore, it is our moral duty to ensure their welfare, in the face of adversity,’ said Venaani.

He also called on the president to devise a crop subsidy for farmers that have cultivated mor
e than one hectare of land through insurance institutions such as NASRIA, as this particular category of farmers is usually left without any assistance.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency