Photo: severe drought in Namibia for 30 years

Most of Namibia is covered by deserts. Country in southern Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 30 years. According to UNESCO, 780 million people — a third of the population — suffer from a lack of food. Among these, about 110,000 children under the age of five years. 

August 15, 2013.

Worse things are in the north-west of the country, in the Kunene region, where for the second year there was no rain. The region has almost no pasture, which is a huge problem for the local Himba tribe, mainly engaged in cattle breeding. UNICEF estimates that for the victims of the drought in the Kunene to $ 22 million.


Mbete Tzhipoza receives a state pension of 500 Namibian dollars (51 U.S. dollars). This is enough to buy 50 kilograms of maize flour, sugar, salt, sunflower oil and a little otzhize — a red paste, which is mixed with animal fat. This drug are rubbed to keep the skin from the scorching rays of the sun.


Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba in May announced a state of emergency. The government has established a special committee, which deals with the distribution of food and water, but critics argue that the government could do more. The government rejects the criticism.


Frauke Jensen, a correspondent for the BBC BBC in the Namibian capital Windhoek, said that the level of water reserves in reservoirs may reach critically low, if in the near future will not rain. Wells and shallow lakes in the desert has dried up.


"The roads in the sparsely populated and inhospitable desert in poor condition, the distances are great and help comes to the people who need it very late," — says our correspondent.


Young mother Kaman Tzhiudzhu (s 21) says that this is the worst drought in her life. Her family was forced to sell all their animals, and many of the animals are doomed to perish. The village, which lives Kamau, has been recognized in need three months ago, but there is not yet support received.


About 30% of children in the region are suffering from malnutrition, according to UNICEF. Agency workers say that because of the continuing drought the number will grow.


In some parts of the country the government as humanitarian aid distributes corn flour. Authorities appealed to the international community for help. Russia and China have already responded to the call of Namibians.


The drought has destroyed many pastures and threatening the survival of many species of animals and plants, which also affects the tourism industry, which in Namibia important source of profit (All photo: UNICEF).


55-year-old Kariyamakuyyu Cauthen and her grandson Kautumua. She said that earlier in her village grew corn, pumpkins and other vegetables. But because of the drought, they had to give up farming. Now they eat once a day in order to have enough food stocks longer.


Source: BBC Russian Service

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