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N$60m Added To Drought Relief Aid In Namibia

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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019
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The latest donation by the NPTH is a response to the government’s pleas, with the aim of assisting in the effective implementation of the government-led drought relief programme.

NAMIBIA Post and Telecom Holdings yesterday donated N$60 million towards the alleviation of drought during a handover ceremony held at the information ministry in Windhoek.

Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH) is the holding company of Namibia Post Limited, Telecom Namibia Limited, and Mobile Telecommunications Ltd.

The donation is meant to meet the government halfway after president Hage Geingob declared drought an emergency some months ago.

This was the second time that Geingob has declared a state of emergency, the first in 2016 after former president Hifikepunye Pohamba had declared a similar state of emergency in 2013.

A family waters crops with dishwater in a township in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

At the time of the head of state’s declaration, The Namibian reported that the government had set aside N$90 million to sustain people affected by drought between April and July this year.

NPTH board chairperson Lena Kangandjela said the donation was done as part of the company’s social responsibility, in response to the government’s pleas, with the aim of assisting in the effective implementation of the government-led drought relief programme.

“NPTH is further encouraging other corporate entities and the private sector, as well as the Namibian nation to meet the government halfway in its efforts to ensure that the livelihoods of the affected communities are maintained and to heed the call of the president [Hage Geingob]. This donation aims to strengthen the Namibian government by restoring the faith and trust that the Namibian people have in their government to provide during the hard times,” she added.

At the same event, information minister Stanley Simataa said his ministry’s part was to only receive the donation, whose allocation would be determined by the Office of the Prime Minister.

He noted that the response to the government’s appeal for aid towards drought relief has been overwhelming, but could not reveal a specific figure of the total amount the government has so far pooled together. His explanation was that the figure continues to change every now and then.

“We will engage and give a report in terms of where we are, how much has been generated so far, how much has been spent,” Simataa assured. “We are only a nation because of our fellow nationals”, the minister said about the positive impact brought on by pooling together to assist drought-hit citizens.

N$100 or N$200 can also make a difference, Simataa encouraged.

Meanwhile, United Nations Namibia has to date mobilised N$15 million to complement the government’s response to the drought crisis. Other contributions to the cause include N$35 million from agencies in the mines and energy sector; N$2,3 million from China; N$1,5 million from businessman Frans Aupa Indongo; and 1 000 tonnes of food – in the form of rice and mahangu – from the Indian government.

Previously, prime minister Saara Kuuongelwa-Amadhila stated that the drought has been ongoing for three years and that the situation has resulted in decreased agricultural production as well as the destocking of livestock by commercial farmers, thus impacting tax revenue.

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