Farmers fret over dry spell

• BY MARX ITAMALO

ERGINUS Endjala, the governor of Omusati said residents of the region should not fret on the prolonged absence of rain in the region and that he and all regional councilors are monitoring the situation together with the office of the Prime Minister.

He made the remarks this week when Confidente inquired of the plan of action the region would take in case of a drought considering the current state of lack of rain and dry spell in the north of the country.

Endjala said his office cannot at the moment do anything with regards to advising people on their plans in case a drought is on the horizon because they are waiting for a crop evaluation report from the Office of the Prime Minister.

“However, we are expecting the crop evaluation report from the Office of the Prime Minister to give us the indication of how the overall performance is, in order for the regional council to respond to the effect.

“Therefore, at this point in time, we cannot do much in time until the report is released,” he said whilst imploring the 270 000 residents of the region in all 12 constituencies not to panic.

According to Endjala, the regional leadership is not oblivious to the fact that residents of Omusati and the whole North in general will be affected by the dry spell being experienced currently. He, however, said people should be optimistic and expect good rainfall this month.

“First and foremost, the delayed rainfall could be a sign of a severe drought, but it is very early to predict that because March is known as a rain month and when it comes to production in the fields, the majority of people have already started with mahangu production as usual,” he told Confidente.

Of late, many residents have been airing their concerns about the dry spell currently plaguing the North and have sought answers from their regional councillors on what their political leadership plans to do about the situation.

“Normally by now, some people would be feasting on the traditional beans. But can you believe that some people even just started ploughing only last month?” asked Gerson Ashipala of Oniihandi village in Oshikoto.

According the elderly pensioner, a healthy harvest is always presided by rains that come non-stop from November until April in northern Namibia. He, however remains optimistic the rain shall come and at least people will have something to harvest although not enough.

The last time northern Namibia experienced a devastating drought was in 2019, when thousands of domestic animals died as a result.