Majority Aminuis inhabitants, 80%, hoping for food aid

Manfred Ngaujake, a former communal farmer but now trying his hand at commercial farming, made an interesting observation in an article published in Farmers Forum last week.

This was to the effect that white farmers would never let go of their commercial land unless they have exhausted it. This is borne by Ngaujake's personal experience of the difficulties he has been facing on his farm he bought a couple of years ago. The sharper end of this personal experience, is the near-to total state of erosion that he found the farm in. Hence his remarks about white farmers only forfeiting land once depleted. How the Agricultural Bank of Namibia can/may be providing loan for such is a million Namibian Dollars question.

But finding self on a commercial farm on the borders of two constituencies, that of Aminuis in the Omaheke Region, and that of Aranos in the Hardap Region, the remarks of Ngaujake could not ring louder. How the particular farmer, especially in this era of droughts, is making ends meet is any wonder. Incidentally, the latter farm has also been bought by an emerging commercial farmer, who was also formerly from the communal area. It is with this reality in mind that the Aminuis Constituency Councillor, Peter Kazongominja, is bringing home the awakening message of the disturbing reality of the ever worsening and critically if not already devastating droughts, which with its vicious debilitating and destructive grip on the communal areas in his constituency.

Drought in Aminuis is now at what you say is the highest level. Since April, we have been impressing this upon the government when we sounded the first SOS. From the government, the President during his State of the Nation Address (SORA), we came to the level of the regional government, attests the councillor. But at this level, albeit Kazongominja, nothing is moving to enable them get the necessary help. The Prime Minister is awaiting a report that is supposed to follow an investigation by the regional office which is supposed to be the last report embracing all reports from the various sectoral fact finding missions, informs the councilor. The regional management is still to endorse this report compiled by the emergency response experts in the regional office but has as yet to meet.

Before approaching the prime minister, the regional leadership has to reach consensus that there is indeed drought in the Aminuis Constituency that warrants to be declared an emergency. Most importantly, the regional management needs to recommend who needs to receive drought rations as well as how much drought fodder is needed and for how many livestock. The reality of the Aminuis Constituency, according to the councillor, is that with or without rain, 50 percent of the inhabitants normally need food aid. While another 50 percent have been relying on the livestock for subsistence.

But with drought, it means the number of those clamouring for food aid has increased with the councillor putting this now at 80 percent. This is out of inhabitants of about 12,343. Currently there is no single food aid supplies in warehouses in the region, meaning there is no food aid distribution except for the San community. Thus according to the councilor, he has been relying on leftovers from this programme to help those in dire need.

Kazongominja adds that the constituency is also in need of fodder assistance but is not sure if the government would agree to extending such. Currently, farmers are in flight from the constituency in search of hiring grazing as they are just in limbo with their livestock. This they are and have been doing without any backing. The farmers and their livestock flight from the constituency has simply been directionless targeting at time the help of those who have been resettled but with little help, especially given that those are prohibited by law from accommodating others doing this at the risk of forfeiting their resettlement privilege unless there is an agreement to rent grazing, which again must have the approval of the authorities. This can be an elaborate and longish process with the desperate farmers resorting to underhand dealings with those on resettlement farms. In this regard, it is even difficult to keep track of the whereabouts of farmers because where they may have find grazing may be illegally on resettlement farms and should this be known to the authorities could be at their risk and that of fellows on such farms who have come to their rescue.

Within the constituency itself, there's no single village that can come to the rescue of others with already disputes about villagers helping fellow already in abundance.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia